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Cymraeg

Helping the smaller business develop through university links

12 November 2007

Evidence suggests that large international companies are engaging with UK universities very successfully. However many smaller companies do not have formal links with universities and are losing out on technology and development opportunities as a result.

An All-Wales seminar this week aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) benefit further from the expertise and resources in our universities.

On Friday November 16, two simultaneous seminars in North and South Wales with a videoconference link, will explore the benefits of collaboration with universities through case studies of Welsh success stories and facilitated discussion. The aim is to raise awareness of the resources in science, engineering, technology and the arts which are available to small business to boost growth and economic development.

The needs of business in North and South Wales will be taken into account at each seminar with studies of businesses in both regions and across a number of industry sectors.

The key findings of the seminars will be incorporated into an independent report to enable all businesses, universities and business support in Wales to benefit from the project. The results will also feed into a UK-wide report by the Royal Academy of Engineering on the level of interaction between SMEs and academia.

The event will be presented by Television and radio presenter Sarah Dickins It is organised by the Royal Academy in association with the Welsh Assembly Government’s Knowledge Exploitation Fund and Cardiff University.

Michael Wright of Cardiff University said: "This may be the first opportunity that small/medium business and universities will have had to explore how they can work together more effectively and in turn drive the knowledge economy.

"We aim to show that Welsh universities are an important source of technology and knowledge which can help increase competitiveness and enhance an innovative culture in the business world. In turn, greater collaboration with SMEs will help universities better understand the needs and requirements of business sectors to ensure the relevance of their teaching and research."

The North Wales seminar takes place at Optic Technium in St Asaph and the South Wales event at St David’s Hotel in Cardiff. For further information, or to book a place, e-mail innovation@cardiff.ac.uk or go to www.innovation-network.org.uk .

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk

Further Information:

For more information, please contact:

Stephen Rouse,

Public Relations Office,

Cardiff University.

029 2087 5596

e-mail: RouseS@cardiff.ac.uk