The government launched its Pounds 54 million Reach Out initiative this week in a bid to foster better links between universities and industry and improve graduate employment opportunities. Universities have until September 15 to prepare their bids for a share of the first Pounds 11 million slice of the Reach Out to Business and Community fund. A further Pounds 21 million will be available for the 2000-01 academic year followed by Pounds 22 million in 2001-02. The government has promised more funding between 2002 and 2004. The government will not prescribe the activities that can be funded, but it expects proposals to be innovative in addressing areas such as exchange schemes and incubator units to help academic entrepreneurs develop their business ideas.