BT invests €100,000 in campus company research

17 May 2006

NovaUCD’s 2006 Campus Company Development Programme (CCDP) has been launched with news of a three-year commitment from BT valued at €100,000.

This commitment, coupled with five years of financial and other support to date from Enterprise Ireland, means the programme is fully enabled to assist UCD researchers and academics who are seeking to establish and develop new knowledge-intensive businesses. The funding is expected to help reduce the lead-in time associated with setting up a business and provide the skills necessary to transform ideas into commercially feasible ventures.

Now in its 11th year, the programme has helped 120 companies develop their business. Previous CCDP winners include AV Edge, BiancaMed, ChangingWorlds and Lightwave Technologies.

The 2006 programme will offer 12 small business enterprises the opportunity to bring their idea from grassroots intellectual concepts to fully developed, sound commercial business enterprises.
The CCDP is a nine-month, part-time programme designed to suit the busy timetable of researchers and academics. It offers a mix of monthly workshops, mentoring and one-to-one consultancy and is delivered by NovaUCD staff, with support from the NovaUCD sponsors, BT and Enterprise Ireland, as well as other outside experts.

Anne O’Leary, head of business enterprise, BT Ireland, commended NovaUCD. “There is exceptional talent and innovation generated in this environment that may not otherwise develop into commercial entities,” she said.

The programme addresses the fact that many of the most innovative new ventures originate in a university environment and many of these university-based entrepreneurs require assistance in defining and developing their innovative ideas, building multi-disciplinary teams and preparing and implementing detailed business plans.

Kevin Sherry, manager of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up Division, commented that the new companies form an essential element to realising the full potential of the substantial investment being made by the Irish Government in research and development (R&D).

High-tech ventures are making a continuing contribution to the sustained development of a knowledge-based economy in Ireland and, according to Dr Pat Frain, director, NovaUCD, “in this regard NovaUCD is committed to supporting entrepreneurship and the establishment and development of new knowledge-intensive ventures. The CCDP, which has run successfully since 1996, is our main enterprise support programme designed specifically to assist academic entrepreneurs in developing start-up companies mainly to commercialise the output of UCD research.”

Participants on the programme also have the opportunity to access NovaUCD’s desk space and incubation facilities and associated services with guided access to financial support and information sources. The programme culminates with a high-profile awards evening held in November.

By Elaine Larkin