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Oxford Innovation launches Innovation Centre Extranet to link Growing Companies


7 April 2005 -- Oxford Innovation has launched a unique Innovation Centre Extranet facility known as ‘ICE’ that can help over 300 growing companies in a variety of sectors link up to do business and share experience. Companies can use ‘ICE’ to browse through other company entries by sector, publish profiles, add news and highlight business opportunities, or post questions in the ‘Ask the Experts’ section. They can also access business support and practical advice on issues ranging from raising finance to legal matters, accounts and marketing from Oxford Innovation and professional firms.

Dr David Kingham, Chief Executive of Oxford Innovation, said: “We believe we are unique among innovation centre operators in offering this facility, which is exclusively for the companies in our network of 12 Innovation Centres in locations from Oxfordshire to Portsmouth, Berkshire, Gloucestershire and Wellingborough.

As well as facilitating collaborations between the entrepreneurs and innovators, ICE has been specially designed to provide access to professional advisors and contacts who can help them develop their businesses. There is also information about networking events and their local area. We have been delighted by the enthusiastic response of the companies using ICE and are confident that this online community will grow and add real value to the well-established physical community in our Centres.”

Robert Stevens, Director of Bunnyfoot Universality at Harwell Innovation Centre, said: “ICE is one of the most valuable resources offered by Oxford Innovation. It provides us with access to detailed information on what other companies in the Innovation Centre network do, and people can find out about what we offer. Since its inception we have had meetings with two companies who offer complimentary services to our own with a view to doing joint projects. We are also using it to recruit participants for market research testing, which is of core importance to our business.”

Simon Warrick, Technical Director of Historic Futures Ltd at Cotswold Innovation Centre, said: “I think ICE is a wonderful concept. Many of us in the Innovation Centres face similar challenges. To be able to network electronically with over 300 other businesses at similar stages of development should be very beneficial and adds to the value offered by the Innovation Centres.”

Dr Melissa Kao, Director of NurseryCam Ltd at Crowthorne Enterprise Centre, said: “The business world requires your company to have credibility, size and reputation. At the start we had none of these, only a dream. Crowthorne Enterprise Centre has provided us with financial and emotional support when we needed them most, and ICE is a community where we can share our ideas with other like-minded people.”

David Bennett, Director of Thames & Solent Publicity at Crowthorne Enterprise Centre, said: “Most of the Innovation Centres in the Oxford Innovation network are within our target area and I see ICE as the perfect way to build relationships with them.”

ICE is sponsored by Manches solicitors, James & Cowper accountants, Lucas Fettes insurers and Omniis IT support who all offer special deals to the companies in the Innovation Centres.

Patrick Baddeley, Corporate Finance Partner at Manches LLP, said: “The Innovation Centres are important for the region’s new businesses and we are delighted to be sponsoring them. Manches’ Oxford office advises businesses of all sizes and has particular expertise in corporate finance and intellectual property law. Our specialist focus is in the life sciences, publishing and IT sectors.”

Sue Staunton, Business Services Partner at James & Cowper, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring ICE as part of our close association with Oxford Innovation and our ongoing commitment to early stage businesses and their development.”

Robin Lucas, Managing Director of Lucas Fettes, said: “Lucas Fettes is delighted to be associated with the succes


Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Innovation
+44 (0)1865 811127
m.henry@oxin.co.uk

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