Business-university scheme to be axed

A CASH-strapped university support service for businesses in the East of England is set to end in July because of lack of funds.

A CASH-strapped university support service for businesses in the East of England is set to end in July because of lack of funds.

i10, which was established in 2001 by the University of Cambridge with Government and Higher Education Funding Council funding, helps firms to tap into the talents, cutting edge technologies and research services available in universities and colleges.

But central funding for i10 has now come to an end and the difficult economic climate has meant that universities are unable to fund the project themselves. As a result, the scheme ends on July 31, 2009, after eight years.

However, universities hope to build on the legacy it leaves.

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Mike Hall, deputy director of the Association of Universities in the East of England (AUEE), said: “i10 has been influential in helping each university and higher education college in the region to interact and build relationships with businesses in the community. AUEE will encourage every higher education institution to continue the legacy of i10 by building on the relationships which have already been developed via i10 and to become the first point of contact for businesses looking to collaborate with academics."

i10 was first established with eight universities and colleges in the region, and a further four higher education institutes have since joined the network.

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The 12 are: Anglia Ruskin University, University of Bedfordshire, University of Cambridge, Cranfield University, University of East Anglia, University of Essex, University of Hertfordshire, Norwich University College of the Arts, The Open University (OU) in the East of England, The Royal Veterinary College, University Campus Suffolk and Writtle College

i10 project manager Ralph Ecclestone, said: "On behalf of the i10 team, I would like to say how proud we are of what we have achieved over the last eight years.

“We know that businesses will continue to work with academics to become more innovative and competitive - especially in this current climate.

"Until the end of July we will remain committed to promoting our core services including general Ask i10 enquiries and all the other services we provide to help businesses to work with universities. For example, we will be actively promoting our remaining �1k Low Carbon Vouchers to businesses in the region and we encourage businesses to apply by 31 May so as not to miss out."

i10 says it will be working closely with all its partners, including the 12 higher education institutions in the region, to provide new direction and signposts for businesses looking to collaborate with universities in the future.

Businesses can find out more information about the �1k Low Carbon Vouchers and how to apply through the i10 website at

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