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£25,000 grants to help Norwich Research Park business start-ups as part of new enterprise strategy

18 May 2022

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Norwich Research Park is looking to encourage business starts up in Norfolk by offering £25,000 to budding entrepreneurs studying at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The same funding is also available to potential business owners at the research institutions of Earlham, Quadram, John Innes Centre, and The Sainsbury Laboratory.

Successful applicants can receive up to £25,000 from the pre-seed enterprise fund, which has been set up by Norwich Research Park in partnership with the John Innes Foundation, to develop a business idea.

Once a company has been set-up, it can then apply for the next stage of investment, which is a seed fund run by QUBIS –  the commercial arm of the Queen’s University of Belfast – in partnership with Sapphire Capital.

Through continuing support from QUBIS, the aim is for the businesses to be able to attract investment from local angel investors and high net worth individuals.

Along with promoting the Park’s credentials as a location for high growth business, the start-ups have the potential to provide quality jobs in the region.

Anne Dornan, innovation partnerships manager at QUBIS, described it as an “exciting” opportunity.

She said: “You do find that a lot of these companies do stay and grow within the place where they were created because there’s that stickiness, there’s that reliance on the wider environment and infrastructure, with the superb world-class facilities that are here on the park.

“But there’s that scientific community that resides here, there’s a really important continuous feedback loop that happens between these companies as they grow and develop, kind of collaborate back with the research base and the additional corporate partners that are going to be attracted to the park in the future so it’s an exciting opportunity.”

The initial funding is part of an Enterprise Strategy being launched by Anglia Innovation Partnership, which manages Norwich Research Park.

Roz Bird, CEO of Anglia Innovation Partnership LLP, said that investors were interested in funding start-ups through the Enterprise Strategy because of all the “untapped potential with all the researchers” at the Park.

Ms Bird added: “What QUBIS can do is work through all those ideas, filter it through, help those interested to go and do the things they need to do to get to that stage where they’re investable or pick something out and say ‘okay great, you’ve got the ingredients there, let’s get to the next stage’.

“So by the time our private investors locally are getting involved they don’t feel like this is something that’s come out of the hole in the ground, this has come through a process from these research institutions and the university here.”

This article was written by Derin Clark and was originally featured in the Eastern Daily Press here!

Image: Daniel Marcu, a PhD student at UEA presenting his business idea at the recent enterprise launch held by the AIP LLP team at Centrum.

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