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Queens Award for University Science Park Boss

The man at the helm of the very successful University of Warwick Science Park has been honoured with one of the most prestigious industry awards.

David Rowe, who started the University of Warwick Science Park in 1982, has been bestowed with the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion Lifetime Achievement as part of the Queen's 80th birthday celebrations.

He is only the second person to win the award - the first in this region - as it was started last year to honour individual activities which contribute to and foster an entrepreneurial culture. The Queens Award For Enterprise, which recognises company achievements, has been running since 2001.

David's award is recognition of the way he and the University of Warwick Science Park have helped turn Coventry and Warwickshire into a place where small knowledge-based businesses can grow and thrive.

He is thrilled with the honour. "I am still struggling to take it in," he said. "In our field it is the greatest personal award you can receive and I feel extremely proud to have been recognised.

"But great credit has to go to so many people across our four sites in the region who have helped to foster the entrepreneurial spirit among so many small firms that have been based at the Science Park.

"Very often they start as one or two-man bands when they come to us and can end up growing to have up to a hundred staff - that is always extremely satisfying."

When he started the Science Park, there were just 100 small, knowledge-based firms in the sub-region. Now there are more than 1,000 - around half of which have been supported by a wide range of often-groundbreaking, enterprise promotion activities developed by David at the Science Park.

In each of the last six years, between 50 and 70 per cent of the fastest growing high-tech companies in Coventry and Warwickshire have been based at the University of Warwick Science Park.

David has put systems into place to help small businesses access funding, find investment, develop their markets and work with under-graduates and recent graduates - all of which have helped firms to grow quicker.

"The University of Warwick Science Park has put into place a whole host of facilities and programmes that make it easier for business to grow," said David. "And our record in the region certainly suggests that it is working."

But David's work stretches further than Coventry and Warwickshire. Projects called Teamstart and the Enterprise Fellowship Programme have been rolled out across the West Midlands - with Teamstart having a major role to play in helping former Rover employees to start their own businesses after the car giant's collapse.

And on a national and international scale, he was one of the first chairmen of the UK Science Park Association, is a leading director of the UK Business Incubation Association and is one of the longest serving members of the European Business Innovation Centre Network and the International Association of Science Parks.

Through these organisations he has been able to use the University of Warwick Science Park mould as a benchmark for others to follow.

"Enterprise is the key to help a modern economy flourish," he added. "It is the most reliable route to innovation and wealth creation."

For further information please contact:

Warwick Science Park
02476 323000

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager
University of Warwick 07767 655860
02476 523708 p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk