Lord Parry Mitchell, Labour’s Enterprise Adviser, visited The University of Nottingham recently to meet staff, students and entrepreneurs at the University’s Innovation Park.
Lord Mitchell was shown some of the latest buildings and construction projects at the Innovation Park, including the GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry, the Romax Technology Centre, the Energy Technology Building and the Aerospace Technology Centre.
Commercialising university technologies
While at the Innovation Park, Lord Mitchell also saw the University’s Technology Demonstrator, which displays some of the inventions which have been commercialised by the University in recent years, including the Heartlight baby monitor, for monitoring the heartbeat of babies born prematurely, and also the microwave processing of vermiculite, a mineral widely used in fireproofing and horticultural markets.
A successful entrepreneur, Lord Mitchell founded, grew and subsequently sold, three international companies in the IT services sector - Standard Chartered Leasing Ltd; United Leasing plc and Syscap plc. He also formed and chaired the eLearning Foundation which provides laptops for disadvantaged children.
Lord Mitchell met with some of the business tenants at the Sir Colin Campbell Building, such as Skeleton Productions, a fast-growing video production company which was started up by former Nottingham students.
An environment to develop business ideas
During the afternoon, Lord Mitchell was introduced to students in the EnterpriseLab at the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which provides an environment for students and graduates to develop business ideas. Along with hot-desks and shared office facilities, members can use the Lab as a business address and are given access to business mentors and advisers.
Lord Mitchell emphasised the role that universities can play in the development of small businesses. Impressed by the extensive examples of enterprise and innovation on The University of Nottingham Innovation Park, he said: “Universities are critical for the development of small businesses and The University of Nottingham’s foundation is entrepreneurial; it has a history of being an innovator.”
Lord Mitchell also encouraged the University to continue to expand and to support small businesses, he said: “Starting your own business is not just about money. It’s exciting! You have to go into it knowing that you may well fail but that this isn’t the end of the world. If you think you can do it, then do it.”
A stimulating and innovative environment
Mike Carr, Director of Business Engagement and Innovation Services at The University of Nottingham, added: “We are very pleased that Lord Mitchell visited us to see the work we are doing. There are lots of exciting things happening at the University of Nottingham Innovation Park - it’s a stimulating environment in which businesses and academics can work together to develop innovative ideas.”
Lord Mitchell added: “The UK is absolutely ahead of anywhere else in Europe when it comes to the development of small businesses. Congratulations on everything you are doing at The University of Nottingham.”
For more information about The University of Nottingham’s services for business visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/servicesforbusiness or phone +44(0)115 748 4555.
Story by Alice Billin, student intern, Business Engagement and Innovation Services, University of Nottingham.
Photo shows: Jonathan English, Managing Director of Skeleton Productions with Lord Mitchell, Enterprise Advisor for the Labour Party.
More information is available from Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, Business Engagement and Innovation Services, University of Nottingham, +44 (0)115 823 2184, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…