ideaSpace announces seven programmes to support innovation and enterprise

Seven projects designed to support innovators and entrepreneurs across the Eastern Region have been announced by the ideaSpace Enterprise Accelerator (iEA). The projects – which include creating a new community workshop for inventors, schools enterprise workshops and widening access to a popular entrepreneur event, have received grants as part of iEA annual funding programme.

The ideaSpace Enterprise Accelerator (iEA) is a four year, East of England Development Agency enabled programme, which aims to enable economic, strategic and social value to be generated across the Eastern Region by:

• Identifying high-potential research- and innovation-led opportunities for early-stage business growth
• Supporting the accelerated development growth of new ventures, leading to financial and jobs growth
• Increasing the knowledge and skills of people engaging in key roles across the enterprise lifecycle.

For each year of the programme, iEA will provide grants to help establish projects that will deliver progress towards these aims. The seven projects being announced are:

• MakeSpace Cambridge

MakeSpace is based on the FabLab concept developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It provides a community prototyping workshop with modern equipment such as 3D printers, 2D laser cutters, and electronics tools, suitable for developing everything from high-tech prototypes to furniture. It will also be used to host training events for schools and businesses and as meeting place for enthusiasts, innovators and engineers across the Region.

• Enterprise Tuesday

Established in 1999 and organised by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Enterprise Tuesday lectures introduce participants the world of business and inspires individuals to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions.
This project will launch the Enterprise Tuesday lecture series in two other universities in the Region.

• Young Enterprise

This project aims to establish day-long enterprise workshops in 18 schools across the East of England to develop understanding of, and interest in, entrepreneurship among senior school students.

• Open Innovation Workshops

Based on research into Open Innovation conducted by the University of Cambridge’s IfM Centre for Technology Management, this project consists of a series of Open Innovation workshops, delivered across the Region, to provide local firms with access to the latest thinking on innovation practice and detailing how they can develop beneficial alliances with other companies.

• National Association for University Enterprise

This project will establish a pilot programme to develop university enterprise and support the appointment of an East of England Director to work with higher education institutions across the Region.

• Cambridge University Entrepreneurs

This project aims to establish a peer support network to other student enterprise groups in the Region.

• Springboard

ideaSpace is working with Springboard, a start-up acceleration programme. The scheme combines advice, support, networking opportunities and access to initial investment capital.

Stew McTavish ideaSpace Director said the recipients of the grants would be helping deliver high quality enterprise training across the region:  “The Government is looking to entrepreneurs and private enterprise to help get the country back on its feet again. What we want to do is help people turn their ideas into viable businesses.

“These grants will help deliver the training and opportunities that people need to help start new and thriving ventures and create new jobs.”

To find out more about the work of ideaSpace, visit the website at www.ideaspace.cam.ac.uk

Notes

1. ideaSpace Funding
The projects being funded result from a call for proposals in April 2010. The programme sought to provide grants to  initiatives designed to help innovators and entrepreneurs develop the skills needed to be successful. As part of its activities ideaSpace Enterprise Accelerator allocates grants annually toward funding innovative projects that support and develop a regional innovation and enterprise culture in the East of England. The awards were made by a selection panel comprising representatives from EEDA, BusinessLink, ideaSpace and the business community.

The Funding Programme aims to deliver innovation and enterprise training over 5,400 people across the Region.

2. ideaspace Enterprise Accelerator
The ideaSpace Enterprise Accelerator (iEA) is a four year programme to support the generation of economic, strategic and social value across the Eastern Region by:

• Identifying high-potential research- and innovation-led opportunities for early-stage business growth;
• Supporting the accelerated development growth of new ventures, leading to financial and jobs growth; and
• Increasing the knowledge and skills of people engaging in key roles across the enterprise lifecycle

The programme, made possible through support from the Hauser-Raspe Foundation and the East of England Development Agency, incorporates and builds upon the University of Cambridge ideaSpace which was established to support the coordination, development, acceleration and widening of entrepreneurial activity across the Eastern Region.

3. IfM Education and Consultancy Services Limited
ideaSpace Enterprise Accelerator is operated and managed by IfM Education and Consultancy Services Limited (IfM ECS). IfM ECS is wholly-owned by the University of Cambridge. It disseminates the Institute for Manufacturing’s research and education outputs to industry and government through education, consultancy, events, and publications.

The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) is a division of the Department of Engineering. The IfM brings together expertise in management, economics and technology to address the full spectrum of industrial issues. Its activities integrate research and education with practical application in companies, providing a unique environment for the creation of new ideas and approaches to modern industrial practice. The IfM works closely with industry, at a Regional, national and international level, providing strategic, technical and operational expertise to help companies to grow and to become more competitive.


For further information, contact:
Rob Halden-Pratt
Communications Officer
Institute for Manufacturing
Tel: 01223 748266
M: 07540 667330
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Or University of Cambridge
Office of Communications
01223 332300
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