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150INNOVATION UKINNOVATION Centres of Excellence Wales: technium A catalyst for success Technium is an idea that was born in Wales, but is now recognised across the world as a model for incubating companies. Bringing together like- minded talents from complementary and similar markets under one roof is reaping fantastic rewards and is proving to be a true catalyst for progress and prosperity. Since it was founded in 2001, Technium has seen the development of 11 specialist innovation centres across Wales to support high- technology, creative and knowl-edge- based businesses, mostly focusing on the country's high- growth sectors such as Performance Engineering, Sustainable Technologies and ICT. Operated as a part-nership between the Welsh Assembly Government, higher and further education institutions and the private sector in Wales, Technium was supported by European Union Objective 1 funding. The objectives of Technium are to: » » Assist in the creation of new spin- out businesses from Welsh academia. » » Help develop existing businesses in Wales. » » Provide a seamless mechanism to attract R& D inward investment opportunities. It currently supports 117 companies across its 11 Technium premises and has generated around 2,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities within the Welsh economy to date, representing an economic benefit to the Welsh economy of approximately £ 135m. An excellent example of this success is North Wales technology company DMC, with its golf- course map-ping product CaddyAid. Since its inception in November 2007, DMC has already been valued in excess of £ 1m and taken orders for CaddyAid from a number of major sporting retailers, including Direct Golf, the UK's biggest golfing online store. The company's meteoric rise has continued with Europe's elite golfing stars, Lee West-wood, Darren Clarke and Sergio Garcia, also picking up the product on tour. The software development for CaddyAid has taken place at its offices in Technium OpTIC in St Asaph in Denbighshire. Here, DMC receives a full range of sup-port from the state- of- the- art clean- room facilities, mentoring programmes, marketing consultancy and funding and training. David Morris, Managing Director of DMC, says: " The Welsh Assembly Government has been a constant sup-port mechanism and we wouldn't be at our stage of growth now if we had to do this on our own. The finan-cial support is a tremendous help, but it is the 24- hour service we get from Technium OpTIC that is first class. For example, whenever we have had issues with patent and copyright, they have been on the end of the phone to consult. From what I've gathered, this kind of support is unheard of across the rest of Europe and we are very fortunate to have the Assembly's backing to a project that we believe can change the face of golf and the way the game is approached." In order to achieve this type of success, Technium innovation centres offer new, early stage businesses and international companies a choice of flexible accommodation, including: » » Modern office facilities - high bandwidth connectivity, telephone system, reception services and meeting and conference rooms. » » State- of- the- art technical facilities - clean rooms, laboratories, 3D visualisation suites, software suites and manufacturing testing facilities. » » Industry- specific centres - covering specialist areas such as opto- electronics, performance engineering, energy, electronics and digital devices. But Technium is more than just office space. Businesses also have access to: » » Research and development support - through Technium's links with academic centres of research excellence. Bringing together like- minded companies that really do mean business, Technium innovation centres in Wales offer advice, support and, most of all, success below: Technium OpTIC

UKINNOVATION UK151 Centres of Excellence Wales: technium » » Business support - advice on the Welsh Assembly Government's Business, Technology and Grant programmes. » » Specialist support - via a range of professional service providers which have partnered in Technium. » » Regular networking opportunities - meet and exchange ideas with like- minded companies. » » Higher and further education partnership opportunities - many of the companies housed in Technium will have, or will develop, fruitful links with university departments ( and particularly the Centres of Excellence in Technology and Industrial Collaboration). In June 2008, computational modelling specialist Rock-field Software, multimedia developer Imagitech, estate agency software business Dezrez and TV production company Teledu Telesgop, all turned their potential for high growth into reality when they " graduated" from the Technium network's flagship Swansea facility. All four businesses have moved into a purpose- built state- of- the-art premises situated next door to Technium Swansea called the " Ethos" building, as they look to continue the successful collaboration work between the companies. Dezrez was one of the very first businesses to join the Technium back in 2001 and today - with Technium's continued support - it now has 40 staff, 15% of the UK market for estate agency software and was recently named as the fastest- growing technology business in Wales and the south west of the UK. Dezrez is a national business, but everything it does is managed from Swan-sea, with the majority of its staff drawn from universities and colleges in the local area. Ieuan Wyn Jones, Deputy First Minister says it is good news to hear that four highly- successful and innovative businesses were graduating from the Technium network in this way. " Technium was originally founded on the basis that businesses could incubate, develop and flour-ish in a supportive environment before standing on their two feet in the business world - and these four businesses are perfect examples of how the Technium concept works effectively in practice. Their move also frees up office space in Technium to enable a new generation of tech-nology companies with high- growth potential to come through the system." Guidelines for Technium's eligibility criteria are as follows: » » Innovative, high- growth potential businesses » » Based in science or technology- led sectors » » Exploiting Intellectual Property » » Engaged in Research & Development; » » Have or would benefit from links with higher or further education institutions » » Have a capable management team in place » » Sustainable financial status » » Possess a credible business plan. There are 11 Technium innovation premises located across Wales: » » Technium Aberystwyth » » Technium CAST ( Centre for Advanced Software Technology) - Bangor » » Technium Digital - Swansea University » » Technium Digital@ Sony - Bridgend » » Technium OpTIC ( Opto- electronics Technology and Incubation Centre) - St Asaph, Denbighshire » » Technium Pembrokeshire » » Technium Performance Engineering - Llanelli, Carmarthenshire » » Technium Springboard - Cwmbran » » Technium Sustainable Technologies - Baglan » » Technium Swansea ( two innovation centres) - SA1 Swansea Waterfront. For more information on the Technium, please contact: Tel: 0845 010 3300 E- mail: enquiries@ technium. co. uk Website: www. technium. co. uk LEFT: Technium Swansea