Issue date: 10 February 2003

ISSUE DATE: 10/02/03

Building work has just begun to create an incubator unit to support media businesses of the future. Focusing on the potential for electronic media, the unit will be known as e-Media. It will link high-tech managed office and meeting space with advice and mentoring from financial and digital media experts via the University of the West of England.

The incubator will be located in Watershed, in the creative heart of Bristol. The office spaces will be fully equipped with broadband internet access and situated right on the waterfront.

The development is timely, given that the government in its recently published white paper on The Future of Higher Education emphasised the need for Universities to support regional business clusters by transferring innovation.

Linda Skinner, Director of UWE’s Centre for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies, has led the development of UWE business incubators. Linda said:

“This is the second phase of UWE’s business incubator to be set up in the city-centre. Bristol is renowned for its creative businesses and it is very exciting to be able to give this an added impetus with the support of Watershed and the South West Regional Development Agency. We are delighted to be part of the digital media business cluster involving UWE and Watershed. The e-Media incubator is for staff and students starting media businesses and for other media businesses that might benefit from a relationship with UWE."

One of the companies that will provide mentoring is E3 MEDIA, a Bristol web design success story with a national client list of famous household names. Co-founder Stuart Avery, himself a UWE graduate, said his company would welcome the chance to give a helping hand to talented people as they start out.

"Bristol is a great city to start a business or to develop an idea, it has a can-do, will-do attitude with lots of companies and organisations willing to help and assist would-be entrepreneurs. An incubator like this will provide a great focal point for those who have a passion, lots of ideas but need a vital helping hand to turn ideas into reality."

Dick Penny, Director of Watershed Media Centre has enthusiastically supported this development. "As part of our long-term strategy we have been working with UWE to create opportunities for developing regional talent and innovation in digital media. This new facility will enhance our ability to support creative industries development and strengthen our role as a showcase and escalator for new talent and ideas."

For further information on the opportunities offered at e-Media, contact Linda Skinner on 0117 344 2835.


Editor’s notes

1. This is the second e-business incubator to be set up by UWE in the last 12 months. The first, INNOVATE, opened its doors at the Rackhay last May. Already one of its tenant companies, which develops music software, has succeeded in receiving a contract from the BBC for its work with David Attenborough’s Life of Mammals exhibition.

2. Both incubators are sponsored by the South West Regional Development Agency.

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