Programme helps researchers who will 'drive forward future economy'
A top innovation programme for Swansea University's brightest new researchers was held at the University's Department of Research and Innovation this month.
Following the success of last year's pilot scheme, the Bridging Innovation programme, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), introduced delegates to processes and routes to help them commercialise their research and ideas.
With feedback from last year's pilot scheme refining the programme's activities, the delegates were taught how to think innovatively about their ideas, with the underlying benefit of adding value to Wales through the creation of profitable business ventures.
Alison Parker, the University's Knowledge Transfer Officer, headed up the scheme. She said:
"The researchers that we are working with are the people who will be driving forward the economy over the next few decades.
"The Bridging Innovation programme is another step toward developing and maintaining a knowledge economy in Wales; a critical area for Swansea University with regard to developing entrepreneurship, enhancing research credibility and generating income.
"With jobs few and far between in the current climate, and Wales's reliance on public sector employment, the top quality researchers that we can nurture here are the lifeblood of the economy - their ideas turned into business ventures will be extremely valuable to Wales going forward."
Throughout the programme successful local entrepreneurs from companies based in Technium Innovation centres, including ICreate, Cyden and Evolvement Networks shared their knowledge with the attendees, who also heard from large organizations, including Corus; start up companies and the Spinout Wales programme. A Dragon's Den style task where delegates pitted their wits to sell their business venture to local business magnates and experts rounded off the programme.
Chris James, from business development consultancy CIOTEK Ltd, delivered Bridging Innovation. He said:
"This year we opened the programme out to Research Assistants with academic excellence across campus - from the schools of business, medicine, engineering and environment and society. The breadth of knowledge inspired the delegates, and allowed for a multi-disciplinary thought process on the tasks across the programme.
"Once again, the feedback has been superb, and has proven the need to help researchers realise the potential commercial activity that their ideas could bring and, at the same time, providing them with the tools to achieve these goals."
David Simpson, a researcher who attended the course, said:
"Bridging Innovation is a fantastic inclusive programme which opened my eyes to innovation in my workplace."
This news item has been generated by Rachel Williams, Communications Officer, Tel: 01792 602962 or email email@example.com.:
Photograph: Bridging Innovation: Chris James and Alison Parker (front centre) with the Bridging Innovation 2010 cohort, and Dawn Lyle of ICreate (front left).