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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Groundbreaking tech programme launched

A groundbreaking technology development programme for Cumbria was lunched this week at Lillyhall.

Innovus is a support programme for new ideas and technologies, offering businesses and individuals the likes of funding, technical help and development facilities.

It is being billed as a crucial part of the area’s future in securing new investment and a strong local economy.

The programme is the first of its kind in the region.Its main aim is to take ideas in technology and turn them into a commercial success by helping entrepreneurs with local, national and international opportunities.

The county’s industry leaders were at the event, at Energus on Tuesday, along with pupils from five West Cumbrian schools, who were tasked with completing a series projects in the Innovus technology challenge.

The project is being supported by the University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

It is funded by Britain’s Energy Coast and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Sheila Rae, technology commercialisation manager for the nuclear laboratory, said: “Cumbria has always embraced new developments from coal to nuclear, but we have been quite dependant on nuclear.

“But with the launch of Innovus, new opportunities are on the horizon for new technologies and inventive thinking.

“Through the programme we can offer facilities, funding, technological skills, busniess support and commercialisation.”

Neil Kermode, managing director of the European Marine Energy Centre, spoke about his experience in hydro and tidal technologies being developed in Orkney and opportunities in the market.

Steven Szostak, chief executive of Britain’s Energy Coast, said the new programme fits perfectly within the aims of the firm’s blueprint document for the area, which focuses on the future of West Cumbria.

He said Innovus was helping to establish the region as a hotbed of innovation.

Brian Hough, socio-economic and stakeholder manager for the NDA, added: “Innovus is the seed of collaboration which will support the area’s future development and in a few years time it will be proof of significant growth in West Cumbria.”

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