UWE awarded £25k to help support social enterprises

Issue date: 18 March 2011


The University of the West of England has been awarded £25,000 by the Intellectual Property Office 2011 Fast Forward Competition.

The project lead by Dr Lorna Collins in UWE's Bristol Business School will raise awareness of Intellectual Property (IP) issues amongst social enterprises by creating a network and access to expertise and to engage this important sector in knowledge exchange activities with UWE.

The 2011 Fast Forward Competition rewarded institutions working with business and the local community to create new companies or services to the benefit of the economy and society.

Announcing the successful projects, Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Wilcox said, “I would like to congratulate the University of the West of England. Through interactions with industry, charities and government, UK institutions are creating new companies, improving public services and attracting foreign investment. This is an essential driver of economic growth and prosperity.”

Dr Lorna Collins said, “We are delighted to have been successful and it is brilliant news for our Social Innovation and Enterprise Research Cluster. It was a tough competition and only 10 out of 70 projects were funded.

“We will link social enterprise and technology and manufacturing business with whom we have established relationships with an ambition to connect around 120 different social enterprises with 20 expert practitioners at UWE and 10 strategic partners via an online community. This will enable a sharing of expertise through exemplar projects. We want to help social enterprises to become better at commercialising unrealised IP assets.

“The Social Enterprise Sector invests significant energy creating social innovations but little attention to maximising investment. There are plenty of ideas but often a failure to communicate widely or develop them due to a lack of skills. Through building strategic alliances we hope to plug a gap as there is a striking absence of support.”

UWE will develop an online community, hold an exhibition and drop in evenings throughout the year as well as using social network channels to disseminate live case studies.

The entry was supported by Dr Richard Ball (Senior Lecturer, Department of Law), Andrew Wilson (from UWE), the Dolphin Society, Veale Wasbrough Vizards, Saffrey Champness, ManageMyIP, Highfield Ltd. and Prism Places and Prism Places Social Enterprise Limited.

-ENDS-

Editor's notes

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trademarks and copyright.

Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge-based economy.

FFI: Jane Kelly or Mary Price, Press Officers

BRISTOL UWE

Tel: 0117 32 82208

E-mail: Jane.Kelly@uwe.ac.ukor Mary.Price@uwe.ac.uk

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