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New investors and spin-ins attracted to Norwich Research Park

07 March 2024

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Grant funder SPRIN-D, working with AIP, visited Norwich Research Park, last month, to explore opportunities for new investment in early-stage businesses.

As part of its campus-wide enterprise strategy, AIP (Anglia Innovation Partnership) the Norwich Research Park campus management company, hosted Patrick Rose, Innovation Manager, at grant giver, and self-proclaimed ‘Agency for Disruptive Innovation,’ SPRIN-D, in February. Patrick was able to spend the day meeting spin-out companies, from the campus, to consider opportunities to invest in these start-up businesses.

SPRIN-D, a fund based in Germany, has access to €1bn and is offering €220K for a 9-to-16-month, initial exploration phase, followed by up to €100m for up to five years to create new start-up businesses. The approach is to invest in ‘high-risk’ projects where there is the potential to create a massive positive impact, as well as creating spaces for innovators, where they can take risks and think radically different, as it states on the SPRIND website.

During the visit, Patrick was given an overview of the campus, by CEO of AIP Roz Bird, and presentations from representatives of the research community including the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia.

“Access to funding is a critical component of any enterprise ecosystem. At Norwich Research Park, having a 30,000-strong research community on one campus, managed by AIP, and with a clear focus on four global markets: agribiotech, food biotech, industrial biotech and MedTech makes it easy for funders, with an interest in these areas, to get a comprehensive understanding of the pipeline of investment opportunities.

Following our successful awareness raising campaign we are also now talking with a large number of potential ‘spin-ins’. These are new entrepreneurs and early stage businesses that have started elsewhere but want to benefit from or specialist skills pool, technology platforms, growing sense of community and funding focused in our four global markets.

Creating and growing new businesses at Norwich Research Park is important for a number of reasons. It is a route to ensure that publicly funded research has a positive impact on society, it helps to grow the cluster at Norwich Research Park, and it creates job for people locally.”

Following the initial presentations, Patrick met with early-stage companies in the entrepreneur network, such as Traitseq, Ediform and PfBio. The visit was a great success and Patrick was excited by the opportunities to work with companies based at Norwich Research Park.

Patrick Rose, Innovation Manager at SPRIN-D said, “I was impressed by the spirit of entrepreneurship at NRP and the level of support and dedication from NRP to help teams be successful.”

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