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New grant for entrepreneurial academics – University of Reading

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New grant for entrepreneurial academics

Release Date 04 October 2005

Technician at workThe University of Reading has joined a collaboration of universities delivering the South East Proof of Concept (SEPOC) Fund to academics to investigate proof of concept and the commercial potential of research. SEPOC aims to address the need for proof of concept funding as confirmed by the Lambert Review which reported that the lack of investment available to complete this stage was one of the key barriers to greater commercialisation in universities. Other participating universities in SEPOC include University of Brighton, University of Kent, University of Greenwich, Oxford Brookes University and University of Portsmouth. SEPOC, managed by Finance South East Ltd, has been financed by the Higher Education Innovation Fund to provide grants of up to £50,000. The fund was launched in August 2005 and has another year of activity. During this time SEPOC has supported over 30 academics and almost half of these projects have already progressed to the next stage of commercialisation which would include activities such as the formation of a collaboration or the negotiation of a licence. The University of Reading has already made its first award to Professor Jonathan Gibbins who will be working on a new assay for the development of novel anti-thrombotic therapies. Sally Goodsell, Chief Executive of Finance South East, said: "We are delighted that the University of Reading has joined the SEPOC collaboration which will fill a crucial gap right at the beginning of the funding escalator which is the most risky and therefore the most difficult stage at which to find finance." Finance South East will work with projects funded by SEPOC to help secure continuous investment support at every stage of their growth. Successful applications will also receive practical support from SEEDA's Enterprise Hub Network both at the proof of concept stage, and more importantly, once a project progresses to the next stage of development. This will include the provision of a business mentor and access to specialists with expertise in relevant market sectors. All applications to SEPOC must be sponsored by the Technology Transfer Office and must seek to exploit the intellectual property of the University. Key criteria for successful applications include the level of novelty and innovation resulting from the project as well as the commercial potential of the idea. A key part of the proof of concept project should be the identification of the most appropriate commercialisation route for a technology which may be spin-out or licensing. For further information about SEPOC contact Dr. Sue O'Hare, Technology Transfer Manager, The University of Reading on 0118 935 7198 or email s.c.ohare@reading.ac.uk. End For further information about FSE, please visit http://www.financesoutheast.com or contact Zoë Cottrell on 01344 758 543 or zoe.cottrell@financesoutheast.com. For press information, please contact: Glen Goldsmith 2thefore Tel: 01483 811234 Mob: 07812 766 338 Email: glen@2thefore.biz

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