05 April 2013

Building links between University and business

An award-winning project by the University of Essex linking universities with the business community, has been given a cash boost to turn its ideas into business reality.

LocalisE is a project to promote business growth in north Essex via the Enterprise Agency network. It involves a strategic alliance between the University of Essex and the Colchester, Tendring and Ignite (Braintree) Local Enterprise Agencies, supported by the local councils for north Essex.

The project, which won £16,200 funding, will evaluate the potential of partnering with these three local authorities and enterprise agencies to enable the University to engage with businesses that would not normally turn to a university to help solve business problems.

By offering support to local businesses, LocalisE will create new opportunities for these businesses and demonstrate the relevance of University research and expertise to everyday business.

The University’s LocalisE project manager Phineas Wenlock and Knowledge Gateway Consultant Steve Clarke, were joint bid-writers for the competition. Mr Clarke said: “Being selected for this prestigious award was fantastic, especially given the tough competition for the limited funding.

“However, we were convinced that the enthusiasm of the local Enterprise Agencies and local councils for the project, which will help broker increased University/small business interaction made ours a strong bid. The funding will now enable us to prove its worth.”

Rosa Wilkinson, Director of Innovation at the Intellectual Property Office, said: "The Intellectual Property Office is delighted to have been able to support this exciting initiative. LocalisE is an excellent example of how the competition can support innovative approaches to knowledge exchange that benefit both businesses and students, leading to products and services that will help the UK economy to grow."

Essex was one of only ten universities in the UK to win the Fast Forward Competition set by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Lord Younger, Minister for Intellectual Property, said: “The winning projects have taken the best of UK research and academic knowhow and collaborated with innovative industries to capitalise on each others’ strengths.

“It is vital for universities and industry to find new ways of working with different partners in new areas and supporting growth.”


Ends

Notes to Editors


For more information and pictures, please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874471 or e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk.

For more information about the Fast Forward Competition, see: www.ipo.gov.uk/whyuse/research/fastforward.htm.

For more information about the IPO, see: www.ipo.gov.uk/home.htm.

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