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Funding bids succeed

Press release issued: 19 October 2001

Funding bids succeed

New businesses, wealth and jobs will be generated across southern England thanks to Government funding for ambitious plans by the region's universities to transform research into enterprise.

A consortium led by Bristol University and including Bath and Southampton universities has secured £2.85 million under the Government's Science Enterprise Challenge to establish the Wessex Enterprise Centre. This will extend the success of the Bristol Enterprise Centre, which was launched with Government support in March 2000 to help the University's researchers exploit the commercial potential of their work and to groom the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

A further award of £5 million has been won from the Higher Education Innovation Fund by a Southampton-led consortium including Bristol, Bath and Surrey universities. The money will be used to set up a network of centres for the development of high-tech, high-growth businesses, supporting 1,000 budding entrepreneurs over the next five years. Technology concepts will be nurtured from initiation, through a mentoring and support process, to development by traditional venture capital funding.

Bristol, Bath and Southampton universities also worked together to secure a further £3 million from the University Challenge fund to extend the SULIS Seedcorn Fund initiated last year by Bath University. The Fund supports the early stages in the commercialisation of research activity at Bath and Bristol universities.

An additional £2 million has been gained from the Higher Education Innovation Fund to enable all the higher education institutions in the South West to provide a regional support network for small and medium-sized businesses aiming to improve their competitiveness.

Finally, Bristol University has been awarded over £650,000 for new initiatives to promote enterprise, develop links with business and undertake collaborative projects in information technology and advanced engineering.

Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of Bristol University, said: "These awards reflect the effort that the universities have made to work with one another and to link successfully with industry and commerce.

"Bristol University is already a centre of excellence in promoting the knowledge economy. We recognise the increasing importance of an entrepreneurial outlook and of making enterprise training available to our students."

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Copyright: 2001 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Friday, 19-Oct-2001 16:44:27 BST

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