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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

152INNOVATION UK Centres of Excellence Wales: swansea university Lead comes to Wales " LEAD Wales", an £ 8 million project with the primary aim of helping develop 700 businesses in the region over a six- year period, was launched in Swansea on 1 July 2009 The programme is the 100th to be funded by the EU in the Convergence region of West Wales and the Val-leys and will be delivered through Swansea University's School of Business and Economics. Aimed at improving skills through a range of training and networking oppor-tunities, as well as motivation and confidence- building techniques, the programme will boost the management and leadership skills of SME businesses backed with £ 5 million from the European Social Fund ( ESF) through the Welsh Assembly Government. This innovative programme, already successfully delivered by Lancaster University, concentrates on two areas of small businesses: the business itself, and the personal develop-ment of the owner- manager; providing a framework to increase profitability, enable diversification and support business growth. The programme - designed to meet the specific needs of owner- managers - integrates active teach-ing with action learning, encouraging participants to share knowledge and experience with their peers and to apply what they learn to their own business situation. In sharp contrast to the other typical and traditional business support programmes, LEAD Wales is designed to meet the specific needs of owner- managers of small or medium- sized businesses or social enterprises which have traded for at least three years and which employ a number of staff. Each 10- month work programme comprises a cohort of up to 25 owner- managers, and throughout the programme, each participant is supported by a mix of expertise from academics, experienced mentors and external coaching professionals. Participants are not required to have previous formal qualifications and are supported, on an ongoing basis, by members of their cohort totalling up to six individuals. Astonishingly impressive results have already been achieved by Lancaster University Management School who have worked in conjunction with North West Regional Development Agency in piloting this pro-gramme. So far in excess of 150 businesses have already seen an increase in their sales turnover, employment, pro-ductivity and profits. LEAD will help owner- managers focus on what they can do with their businesses, and how they can evolve and stabilise those businesses with what they learn through the programme. " I had a choice to do the LEAD Programme or have a heart attack . now, I feel much happier, more focused, much more confident and I'm quite happy to tackle anything anybody throws at me." Lesley Swinn, Director, Buy the House ( Lancaster University LEAD participant) The LEAD Wales Programme will be delivered free of charge to all eligible owner- managers. Eligible partici-pants, selected on the basis of the size ( standard SME classification) and location ( within the Convergence region of West Wales and the Valleys) of the business, will be invited to complete an application form and attend an informal interview before being offered a place on the programme. Owner- managers are required to commit two days a month to attend workshops on campus over a 10- month period ( 50- 60 hours in total). A significant element of the programme is the supported implementa-tion of learning into the development of the participants' own businesses, and the first cohort, a diverse mix of up to 25 participants, will join the programme during the next academic year ( 2009/ 10). To register your interest in LEAD Wales, please contact the LEAD Wales Programme Manager, Tim McCaffrey, on telephone 01792 513707 or e- mail: T. McCaffrey@ swansea. ac. uk Left: Pictured left to right at the opening celebration on 1 July 2009, Tim McCaffrey ( Project Manager), Ieuan Wyn Jones ( Deputy First Minister), Pro-fessor Richard Dav-ies ( Vice Chancellor Swansea University), and Professor Andrew Henley ( Head of the School of Business and Economics)