I-Teams, a scheme designed to help inventors realise the commercial potential of innovative designs, has been given a financial boost.
The i-Teams programme, co-ordinated by the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), is one of the very first projects to receive financial support from the city’s newest centre for enterprise.
The programme, based on the successful programme created in the US at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is designed to analyse the commercial potential of an emerging, breakthrough technology.
It was set up in Cambridge in 2006 by Amy Mokady, and is a collaboration between the IfM and the Cambridge University Technology and Enterprise Club.
Amy, an experienced local entrepreneur, said the funding showed the impact i-Teams had made: “We’re delighted that the Hauser Forum IdeaSpace has agreed to provide financial support for i-Teams. The IdeaSpace will be the University’s powerhouse for supporting new innovations, and we are proud to be closely associated with it”
“i-teams embodies everything the Hauser Forum IdeaSpace is being created to represent – an enthusiasm for enterprise and innovation and a desire to help new innovations grow.”
The IdeaSpace, set up with funding from EEDA, is part of the Hauser Forum which is set to open in early 2010 and will be housed in a new £8m building on the West Cambridge site.
The Forum is named after its chief benefactor Dr. Hermann Hauser. The former Cambridge graduate founded Acorn Computers 30 years ago, and is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of Silicon Fen. The Forum will also be home to Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s science and technology commercialisation, and a seminar centre.
Stewart McTavish, Director of the IdeaSpace, said: “i-Teams has delivered an unequalled track record of innovative ideas and realistic evaluations of the commercial potential of University technologies. It trains students and delivers market feedback to researchers and shares the core principles of the Hauser Forum IdeaSpace in supporting innovation and encouraging new companies. We’re excited that through our support of i-Teams we can open up this fantastic programme to students and inventors from any HEI in our region.”
The Hauser Forum IdeaSpace is helping the expansion of I-Teams following its strong success to date. The funding will allow i-Teams to run 9 projects and 12 Taster sessions across the year, giving more than 120 students from across the East of England a taste of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Other funding for the year comes from the Isaac Newton Trust, the CIKC and the EPSRC, as well as commercial sponsors Marks & Clerk and Taylor Vinters.