No 'pay as you talk' for business and boffins
Press release issued: 27 August 2004
Thanks to recent government funding to encourage enterprise, membership to the Bristol Enterprise Network (BEN) is now available free of charge.
This move means that entrepreneurs, whatever their company's financial situation, can continue to build relationships with researchers and support organisations such as suppliers and financiers. They can also attend a series of events with training on both business issues such as financing new ventures and industry-specific issues such as biotechnology. These opportunities can be crucial when starting a new business and this is reflected in the number of people using the network. Currently the BEN website has just under 500 members, including individuals, small companies and large multi-nationals.
The University of Bristol was recently awarded government funds to encourage enterprise and so is now able to finance the network. The funding, worth £13 million over two years, was given to a unique partnership comprising of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey to support university enterprise, build new businesses and work more effectively with industry.
The issue of business interaction with universities is currently hot news, getting increasing support from the government. Gordon Brown in particular is keen to see industry working together with academia to support his vision of a UK 'knowledge economy'. Science and innovation minister Lord Sainsbury said recently: "UK universities have risen to the challenge of transferring their knowledge into industry and are becoming increasingly entrepreneurial."
James Cook, Managing Director of software development company SpiderGroup and a BEN member, said: "This is very good news. The Bristol Enterprise Network and its events are a great way to stay in touch with scientists and business people in our field."