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11.10.06
Daniel gains innovation award

Daniel BanksLocal graduate, Daniel Banks, now employed by Flann Microwave Ltd in Bodmin, was delighted to receive an award recently at the Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) Celebration Event 2006 at the Tremough Campus in Penryn.

Daniel gained a first class engineering degree in Robotics and Automated Systems at the University of Plymouth before joining the Unlocking Cornish Potential scheme. Via UCP he joined Flann Microwave Ltd which is a market-leading designer and manufacturer of microwave components and systems for both military and commercial applications. It sells these to a worldwide clientele including household names in the broadcast, aerospace and telecoms industries.

Daniel's main project was to develop several automated programmable instruments and design and realise a universal controller that could operate the redeveloped devices and any future instruments. His success in achieving this and the new skills which he provided directly benefited the company and resulted in a permanent job offer at the end of the project.

UCP is the hugely successful graduate placement scheme of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC). The scheme receives European Social Fund investment via the Objective One Programme and introduces graduates to local companies to work on development projects which ultimately aim to both improve the success of the businesses and give invaluable workplace experience to graduates. Over 70 per cent of the 165 graduates who have been through the scheme have been offered full-time employment at the end of their placements - as is the case with Daniel - thereby helping to keep highly qualified people, their skills and knowledge within Cornwall.

Daniel is a keen advocate of the scheme, remarking, "Taking part in the UCP scheme has given me the best start in industry I could have dreamt of and made it possible for me to find employment and stay in Cornwall, something I didn't believe was possible."

The UCP event itself celebrated the successful completion of over 40 projects and each graduate and company attending was presented with a certificate to mark their joint achievements. Including those for businesses and graduates who were unable to attend, just fewer than 100 certificates were issued in total. There were also seven special awards covering categories such as marketing, business growth, innovation, use of ICT and project management.

Against tough competition, Daniel won the award for 'Contribution to the Knowledge Economy Through Innovation' due to his truly innovative approach to problem solving during his project. The award was presented by Peter Castell, CUC Business Support Manager and Allyson Glover, UCP Project Manager.

Dr James Watts, Principal Microwave Engineer at Flann Microwave Ltd was understandably pleased, commenting "We are delighted that Dan's effort has been recognised by this award. His work will make significant improvements in performance and manufacturability for several of our key products into the future. We have gained a talented and enthusiastic employee through our participation in the UCP scheme."

For further information please contact Emma Stallard, PR and Communications Officer 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) and in the Combined Universities in Cornwall project's Unlocking Cornish Potential Scheme and the Cornwall Research Fund through the European Social Fund (ESF).

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Editor's notes:

The Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) project is part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative and is managed by Cornwall College. UCP builds on 5 years of highly successful, ESF funded activity by the University of Plymouth. The UCP project seeks to measurably improve the efficiency, competitiveness and growth potential of SMEs in Cornwall through the placement of graduates in companies to undertake business development projects. These projects can last from 6 to 12 months.

The company employs the graduate to complete a project that is key to the growth and development of that business. With the help of the European Social Fund, UCP can provide up to a 30% subsidy towards the graduate's salary provide assistance with other project costs. The graduate receives support from a business mentor and the assistance of the project team to scope, plan and execute a successful business development project.

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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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