Roz Bird, CEO of Anglia Innovation Partnership LLP, the organisation behind the future success of Norwich Research Park, explains the three key ingredients needed to create successful businesses from scientific innovations.
Science has never enjoyed a higher profile than now, so it’s really important that those of us working in this sector make the most of the business opportunities by investing in ideas emerging from science communities such as the one we have at Norwich Research Park.
From my own experience in nurturing business success at science and business parks in the UK, there are usually three key ingredients that companies need to help them to maximise the great ideas and intellectual property at their core, which are: access to funding, outstanding facilities and great people.
I am passionate about making sure these three ingredients are available to the new generation of great companies I know will emerge from Norwich Research Park and we’ve made a great start.
In knowledge-rich environments, such as at Norwich Research Park, access to seed funding must be embedded in the ecosystem to identify and pull through novel, industry-appropriate ideas. The next step is seed finance, needed to establish a company, hire the first staff and secure facilities to commence operations.
We have launched the SEIS/EIS Innovation Fund, where qualifying investors can get tax reliefs to invest in the next generation of exciting new ventures.
We have also partnered with QUBIS, the commercialisation arm of Queen’s University, Belfast, to provide entrepreneur development support, assessment and pre-seed activity plus the launch of a new seed fund. This relationship is already bearing fruit, with six entrepreneurs at Norwich Research Park already receiving funding.
Plus, we can offer start-up and spin-in businesses access to some great facilities in collaboration with academics and clinicians. We also have fantastic buildings with offices, labs and meeting spaces that will give companies the flexibility to grow.
And, in terms of great people, we have an experienced team here at Anglia Innovation Partnership who are working alongside our world-leading researchers to create a business powerhouse at Norwich Research Park.
– Credit: Chris Ball Photography