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£15m fund hopes to bring university expertise to technology start-ups

13 December 2013

The government has announced a £15m scheme to get universities involved in driving local growth plans and supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.

David Willetts
David Willetts

The new University Enterprise Zones will provide funding to locations across England. The zones will allow business spaces to be built that can host a range of new high-tech companies in the early stages of their development.

The intention is that innovative small businesses will be able to share expert knowledge available from the university at which they are located, helping them to grow and prosper. A competition will be held in the New Year to select three to four pilot zones. More will be created, depending on how the pilots fare.

Science minister David Willetts (pictured) says universities are the perfect places to drive innovation, support the growth of the local economy and keep the UK ahead in the global race. "The expert knowledge base we have combined with new business ideas will make University Enterprise Zones powerful tools for local success," he adds.

Prime Minister David Cameron says he wants to see University Enterprise Zones help create the next Yahoo or the next Microsoft

Universities are expected to play a leading role in the new zones, working with local authorities and the existing Local Enterprise Partnerships to promote business growth in their localities.

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