Wales to spin out support for innovation

March 17, 2000

Spin Out, a programme to be launched this month in Wales, aims to encourage university staff and students to set up businesses.

Funded by the Welsh Development Agency and the European Regional Development Fund, the programme offers interest-free loans of up to Pounds 25,000 to individuals establishing academic-related start-ups.

Technical consultancy support worth up to Pounds 2,000 and assistance with market research worth up to Pounds 3,000 is also available.

Programme coordinator David Tittle, based at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff, expects numerous proposals to be seeking support this spring.

A wide variety of business ideas will be eligible for help from Spin Out, although it targets mainly final-year undergraduates, postgraduates and staff in higher education institutions. Individuals from outside the university sector whose business ideas require technical or scientific help from higher education institutions will also be considered.

This spring Swansea University is expanding its provision of premises for new ventures by joining forces with Swansea Institute of Higher Education and the WDA to establish the new Pounds 2 million Technium Technology Centre. Expected to open later this year, it will cater for technology-oriented businesses in the multi-media, IT and creative sectors.

"Innovation incubation is a way of making industrial South Wales a more affluent region. Being a partner in Technium will ensure the university stays at the forefront of promoting the innovation culture," said Swansea vice-chancellor Robin Williams.

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