Tremough Innovation Centre hosts 'School for Start Ups' founder
12:10pm Friday 1st June 2012 in Business
Former 'Dragon's Den' star Doug Richard has officially opened a facility designed to set Cornwall's small businesses on a path to future prosperity.
The entrepreneur, and founder of School for Start Ups, travelled to the Tremough Innovation Centre (TIC) where he also hosted a special workshop for some of its tenants and local companies.
The £13m centre was launched in February with the aim of creating significant numbers of high-value jobs and nurturing the development of high-skilled, growth enterprise in the county.
Situated adjacent to the Tremough Campus in Penryn, TIC is already home to 27 clients, and will be able to support up to 70 businesses.
Operated by Plymouth University on behalf of Cornwall Council, the facility provides clients with access to a supportive and creative communal environment in which they can develop their ideas, accelerate their growth, and create jobs.
Professor Julian Beer, Pro-Vice Chancellor at Plymouth University, said after the event: “The opening was a great success and Doug Richard clearly enjoyed his time with us in Cornwall.
“He heard all about the Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN) and how the Innovation Centres formed part of a bigger innovation community spanning both Devon and Cornwall. We will definitely be working with Doug again soon and will be offering some of his exciting initiatives under the GAIN umbrella.”
The TIC project has been led by Cornwall Council, and supported by Cornwall Development Company (CDC).
Investment has been provided by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Convergence Programme and the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency).
TIC is the second innovation centre to be completed in Cornwall over the past two years, with the highly successful Pool Innovation Centre (PIC), which opened in July 2010, already exceeding all targets.
In the first year PIC assisted client businesses to achieve average growth of over 40% and saw 44 new jobs created. Work on a third innovation centre specialising in the Health and Wellbeing sector, on the site close to Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust and the Knowledge Spa in Truro, began in August and is expected to be completed in late October 2012.
Bernard Curren, Director of the Innovation Centres, said: “Doug has a wealth of experience on a global level, and it was a real coup for the Innovation Centre programme to have him share some of that knowledge and insight with Cornwall's Innovation Centre business community.
“It further demonstrates the value of our partnership approach to inspiring innovation and entrepreneurship in the county, and challenging enterprise to strive for success.”