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12.12.06
Research and Development Matters

The Tremough campus in Penryn yesterday provided the backdrop for an event entitled 'Research and Development Matters' which highlighted how small businesses have benefited from the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) Research Fund.

The event demonstrated ways in which the Cornwall Research Fund has already been successfully used, with three local companies presenting case studies of their projects to around 30 delegates from the business community.

PTT, a knowledge solutions company based in Penzance, developed a service to provide accredited knowledge management systems to a global customer base. Ross Trewhella of PTT commented: "Without the Cornwall Research Fund we wouldn't have been able to give the time and resources to look into the technology standards to the depths that we did."

Sustainable Composites Ltd became partners in the development of the first ever 'Ecoboard' surfboard and undertook studies into the commercial availability of plant based resins and the modification of existing resins. Their research also extended to the possible development of a sustainable foam for housing insulation.

Dom Boothroyd, General Manager of The National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow explained how they had used funds to carry out research into improving the survival rates of lobsters to help ensure future stocks around the region. The funding supported one of their key aims - developing a centre of excellence for research into decapod culture and fisheries. Dom explained: "The Cornwall Research Fund has enabled us to develop partnerships so that we can access other people's skills and facilities in the South West. It has been very important to us and of enormous benefit in allowing us to employ an extra person specific to this research."

The fund was launched in October 2004 to "assist individuals and organisations in the development of intellectual capacity" and is available for three types of projects - academic research, collaborative research and development for public/private sector collaborations and research and development for small businesses.

Provided by a joint research initiative of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC), University of Exeter in Cornwall and Objective One ESF funding, the scheme encourages the expansion and application of knowledge to add value to the Cornish economy.

Peter Castell, CUC Business Development Manager, was delighted by the positive response of delegates saying: "We have enormous potential within Cornwall to create an economy which thrives through research and innovation. Schemes such as the Cornwall Research Fund provide outstanding opportunities for local businesses to become more competitive and creative. It has been a very valuable exercise to showcase some of the successful projects which have already taken place and to encourage more small businesses to become involved."

For further information contact Emma Stallard at the Combined Universities in Cornwall on 01326 370446 or email emma.stallard@cuc.ac.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).

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Editor's notes:

The Combined Universities in Cornwall is a dynamic and visionary partnership that is one of the driving forces behind Cornwall's economic renaissance. This partnership combines the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, University College Falmouth, The Open University, The College of St Mark & St John, and the Peninsula Medical School, with Cornwall's Further Education colleges - Cornwall College, Truro College and Penwith College. It aims not only to provide the students of the future with more choice and greater opportunities, but also to boost the economic fortunes of the region for the benefit of one and all.

The CUC initiative has been invested in by the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the South West Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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