Press Releases

Success story from the Enterprise Hub&ellipse; – University of Reading

Release Date : 05 October 2004

Matthias Rapp (left) and Ian Wilkinson signing the completion documents for Rapp UKWalnut Business Services Ltd has joined forces with Swiss-based Rapp Trans AG and will now operate as Rapp UK. This successful move follows a period of growth and consolidation of Walnut's business in the UK market. Walnut is a technical and business consultancy that delivers transport policy objectives through the application of new technologies. They were the first members to join Reading Enterprise Hub, located on the University of Reading campus, where they have been based since January 2003. The Enterprise Hub focuses on assisting early stage technology and knowledge based companies to build and develop profitable businesses by providing services and an environment to support and encourage growth. For the Hub, Walnut moving on is great news because they are moving for all the right reasons. Susan Elliott, Director of the Reading Hub, said: "Walnut's move demonstrates what the Hub is all about; young businesses benefit from services and support in the critical early years and as they develop and expand they move on and others looking for support to plan, finance and develop their businesses join the Hub network." Ian Wilkinson, Walnut's Managing Director, added: "The Hub has been a great place to be; objective input into our business has been important to ensure we remain focused on delivering our planned growth and the Hub provides a strong community of entrepreneurs and innovators which invigorated our thinking about our company's development." The team at Walnut has steadily developed the business over the past few years and laid firm foundations to make their mark in the UK – they have been so successful in building this reputation that when Swiss-based Rapp Trans AG looked to expand into the UK, the natural choice was to merge with Walnut to capitalise on the knowledge and expertise already demonstrated by the Walnut team. Wilkinson said he is "delighted that Rapp Trans AG and Walnut have merged their business interests in the UK. Together we will capitalise on our different strengths to take the business forward." The new consultancy, Rapp UK Ltd, will specialise in electronic fee collection, road user charging, traffic management, and intelligent transport systems. Rapp UK's clients will have access to a combination of experience both in implementing charging schemes worldwide as well as knowledge of UK-specific transport policy, institutions and operations. Rapp UK will deliver current studies for HM Customs & Excise, Department for Transport and Transport for London, as well as playing an important role in helping Rapp Trans to extend its international business by supporting delivery of current projects and market development in Australia, New Zealand, USA and elsewhere in the English-speaking world. Ian Wilkinson is Managing Director of Rapp UK and Matthias Rapp is Chairman of the Board. Ken Perrett and Bernhard Oehry, both also internationally recognised experts in intelligent transport systems, are Directors of Rapp UK. End Notes for editors For more information, see: About Rapp UK Rapp UK is a specialist technical consultancy that delivers transport policy objectives through the application of new technologies. We are leaders in the field of Electronic Fee Collection, Road User Charging and Tolling Systems and have extensive experience in Intelligent Transport Systems, traffic management and in the evaluation of Road Transport policies and projects. About Rapp Trans AG Rapp Trans is part of the Rapp Group, one of Europe's leading engineering and design consultancies. With around 250 employees, the Group has been established for over 100 years ensuring tradition, continuity and adaptability, delivering success through experience and innovation. Rapp Trans AG is one of four specialist companies operate under the common umbrella of the Rapp Group. • Rapp Infra AG: infrastructure-oriented engineering consultants • Rapp Trans AG: transportation studies consultants • Rapp Wärmetechnik AG: consumption-based invoicing for heating supply • Ammann AG: surveying and geo-informatics The companies in the Rapp Group focus their activities on the creation of intelligent systems and sustainable solutions. They are joint-stock companies, completely independent from banks and other businesses. About the Enterprise Hub Network The Enterprise Hub network focuses on assisting early stage technology and knowledge based companies to build and develop profitable businesses. Our aim is to help these businesses by providing services and an environment that supports and encourages growth. • Impartial and objective one-to-one advice and support to help entrepreneurs realise their growth aspirations. • Support to help businesses plan and prepare for growth, raise finance and maximise their chances of success. • Access to specialist service providers comprising business, financial and technical experts. • Close ties with The University of Reading offers an opening into excellent research facilities and academic connections. Introductions can be made to relevant academic and technical professionals within the University. Access to a wide range of scientific equipment can also be facilitated. • Links to local, regional and international networks of potential customers, suppliers and collaborators. • Very flexible terms for office space. For more information contact: Ian Wilkinson, Managing Director, Rapp UK 6-8 Market Place, Reading, RG1 2EG Tel: 0118 925 5442 E-mail: Susan Elliott, Director, Reading Enterprise Hub The University of Reading, Earley Gate, Reading, RG6 6AU Tel: 0118 935 7300 Fax: 0118 935 7330 E-mail: Website:


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