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The UK's most innovative nanotechnology companies are being enticed to Wales via a high profile business competition, which is aimed at driving the country's knowledge economy.
The winner of the Technium Challenge 2010, will receive free office space for a year within one of Wales' 12 world-class business incubation centres, known as the Technium Network as well as a £30,000 business support package funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and European Union.
Businesses are being urged to enter the competition, which is open to technology or knowledge-based early stage businesses (maximum two years trading) that can demonstrate a patentable idea within a strong R&D element. The first step for companies interested is to complete a brief application form that can be found at www.technium.co.uk/challenge before April 1st, 2010.
Laser Micromachining Ltd (LML), an award-winning company based at St Asaph's Technium OpTIC, is the leading provider of advanced laser manufacturing services to micro and nano companies. LML boasts a wide range of state-of-the-art laser tools together with in-house diagnostic and metrology equipment providing customers with a comprehensive micro-fabrication service. Since its move to the Technium, LML's business has thrived and Managing Director of LML, Dr Nadeem Rizvi, stated:
"The active commercial environment within Technium's and the wide-ranging support offered by Technium operation have been instrumental in the growth of LML over the last three years and other SMEs could also benefit from the network and its business support.
"The Technium Challenge competition offers UK start-ups an excellent opportunity and support mechanism to ensure their business ideas can become reality. I would recommend any technology company, not just those involved in micro and nano technologies, to apply".
Deputy First Minister for Wales, Ieuan Wyn Jones, said: "This year's competition will add tremendous value to any company that wants to tap into their desired marketplace. The winning company will not only get a free office space for a year but will be supported until they can stand on their own in this highly competitive business environment, which is crucial to any company that are just starting out.
"Technium is an idea that was born in Wales but is now recognised across the world as a model for incubating companies, which is something to be very proud of. Bringing together like-minded talents from similar markets across the world under one roof is reaping rewards and is proving to be a true catalyst for progress and prosperity."
The winners of the third annual competition will also have the opportunity to establish relationships with Technium's academic links, professional service providers and public sector/government networks to further accelerate their growth.
Applicants need to submit an application form before April 1st, 2010; those who qualify will then receive help in developing a business plan, which will need to be submitted by April 29, 2010. The winner and runners-up will be announced at the Technium Awards Ceremony to be held in Wales on June 24, 2010.
Since it was founded in 2001, Technium has seen the development of 12 specialist innovation centres across Wales to support high technology, creative and knowledge-based businesses, mostly focusing on the country's high-growth sectors such as Opto-Electronics, Bioscience, Performance Engineering, Sustainable Technologies and ICT. Operated as a partnership between the Welsh Assembly Government, higher and further education institutions and the private sector in Wales, Technium was supported by European Union structural funds.
Technium currently supports 150 companies across its 12 Technium premises and has generated around 2000 direct and indirect employment opportunities within the Welsh economy to date, representing an economic benefit to the Welsh economy of approximately £135m.
For information on the Technium Challenge and details of how to enter, please visit www.technium.co.uk/challenge.
Founded in 2001, Technium is an environment where science and technology businesses can flourish – and turn their potential for high-growth into reality.
We help new and early-stage science and technology businesses overcome obstacles to success and provide an environment where they can prosper. We also act as a base for international companies looking for a foothold in the UK market.
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Michael Erskine or Natasha Fulford at MGB PR on 01792 460200
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