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£1.6 million Scheme Enables Coventry and Warwickshire Small Businesses to Access University's Skills

Originally Published 18 March 1999

The European Regional Development Fund has just announced that they are to fund a new £1.6 million scheme designed to help small Coventry and Warwickshire companies who wish to access the research skills of staff and students at the University of Warwick.

The new fund, which will be open to companies throughout the "Objective 2 Area" of Coventry and Warwickshire, provides a range of new opportunities complementing the work of two schemes which larger local companies already use to draw on University talent to solve particular business problems.

"KITTS" (Knowledge Innovation and Technology Transfer) - Many local companies have already benefited from the STEP scheme where some of the region's brightest students spend their summer months with a company solving a particular problem such as creating a database, or helping in the creation of new hi-tech products or production processes. The University of Warwick Science Park administers the scheme in the midlands. Some small companies however have sometimes found the restriction to the summer period and the costs involved (even though those are subsidised) restricts their ability to access the scheme. The new funding will remove those problems by creating "KITTS". This will subsidise cost to the company of employing a student by 50% and will also allow for recently graduated students to be placed with companies at many different times of the year - not just the summer.

"KITTS+" - The Teaching Company Scheme (TCS), provides for a University researcher to join a company for two years to carry out particularly challenging projects within that company. Some small companies however have sometimes found the two year commitment and the costs involved (even though those are subsidised) restricts their ability to access the scheme. The new funding will remove those problems by creating "KITTS+" - like KITTS this scheme will subsidise the cost of the researcher placed in the company by a massive 50%, and it will also allow researchers to undertake much shorter projects lasting between 3 and 18 months in length.

Companies wanting further details on how they can access these new schemes should contact Tony West on 01203 572589. email: ttataw@admin.warwick.ac.uk

Further information about the above press release and all other media services at the University of Warwick can be obtained from:

Peter Dunn, Press Officer
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
West Midlands
Tel: 024 76 523708
Email: puapjd@warwick.ac.uk