The future of the Norwich Research Park is all about our community, our incredible research and enterprise. Norwich Research Park is already home to over 170 businesses, including spin outs and spin ins, and over the next few years we want to support in the creation of new businesses to increase the size of our business community. We also want to go a step further and create an ecosystem where businesses are supported to develop and grow, and where they feel part of an active community.
That’s why we’ve launched our enterprise strategy and to mark the beginning of this new era for the park we held a couple of launch events for members of the park community and our key stakeholders last week. Our first event was held in the John Innes Conference Centre and saw over 80 guests joining us for short presentations and some networking over lunch. Our second event, held within Centrum, saw us joined by over 60 guests including members of the investment community and key park stakeholders.
The aim of the new strategy is to turbo-charge entrepreneurship, enterprise creation and business growth and to that end AIP LLP have teamed up with a new strategic partner QUBIS, the commercial arm of Queen’s University Belfast, who have a long and successful track record of creating new technology start-ups. Anne Dornan, Enterprise Network Manager at QUBIS joined us alongside Andrew Drylie, manager at Sapphire Capital Partners LLP. These two organisations work together to take on the roles of business mentor and investment manager on the BBSRC ICURe programme.
At the launch we discussed:
• free training sponsored by Innovate UK
• up to £25k of funding, and expert training, available for researchers, PhD students and technicians to validate commercially promising bioscience ideas in the marketplace (QUBIS/NxNW Partners) provided by the leading, UK-wide, bioscience pre-accelerator BBSRC ICURe with a deadline of the 30th May
• pre-seed funding available exclusively for members on the Norwich Research Park available to any organisation, or business, with early-stage ideas (£10k – £25k)
• how to access seed funding (£150 – £300k) from a £3m SEIS/EIS Innovation Fund. This fund will invest in food, agri, health and technology start-ups, all key areas of excellence for the park
The event was also a great opportunity for our new CEO Roz Bird, who joins us from her previous role leading Silverstone Park and the Silverstone Technology Cluster, to meet members of the park community and further discuss future opportunities for the park to collaborate on enterprise. We also heard from a range of businesses on the park, from idea stage to fully operating, from Dr Orr Yarkoni at Colorifix, Professor Anne Osbourn from Hothouse Therapeutics and Daniel Marcu, a postgraduate student from UEA Biological Science, who presented about his business idea.
Over the next few months we’ll continue to work on actioning our strategy and help businesses develop and grow and we’ll continue to update you so make sure to sign up to our newsletter or follow us on socials.