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Simfonec supports start-ups

Four of London’s leading universities have launched Simfonec (Science Ideas to Market, Focused on Enterprise and Commercialisation). The project is aimed at the pharmaceutical, healthcare and biotechnology sectors and will focus on three main areas of activity: teaching of enterprise and entrepreneurship; taking science ideas to market and supporting start-ups within universities.

Simfonec is one of 13 Science Enterprise Centres to be established by the Department of Trade and Industry. It forms part of the Government’s strategy to encourage transfer of science and technology innovation to the business sector.

The Enterprise Centre is a partnership of London’s leading universities led by Cass Business School, part of City University, the Royal Veterinary College, King’s College London, and Queen Mary, University of London.

Julie Logan, director of Simfonec, said: “In the US, around 10 per cent of the working population is involved in entrepreneurial activity. In the UK it is half that amount. Simfonec is about changing these statistics for the London region. Our role is to help scientists take their research to the marketplace to create innovative products for UK plc and to develop the entrepreneurial leaders for the next generation.”

As part of the project, an MSc in Science Entrepreneurship will be launched in September 2003. The Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade & Industry, will officially launch Simfonec on March 31 at Cass Business School in London.