Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

UU opens campus unit to help small health companies

THE University of Ulster today opened a £250,000 incubator unit for small firms in the health sector.

THE University of Ulster today opened a £250,000 incubator unit for small firms in the health sector.

It is the first initiative of its kind by a university and there are plans to open similiar units on other UU campuses in the province.

The new unit will be on the Coleraine campus and will house at least eight fledgling businesses. It will offer office space and support staff and help firms with services like finance, bookkeeping, sales, marketing and research.

The first tenant will be drug delivery firm Gendel, which will employ 11 people initially.

The initiative is supported by LEDU, the Industrial Research and Technology Unit and by Coleraine, Limavady and Ballymoney councils.

Professor Gerry McKenna, the UU's pro- vice-chancellor for research, said at today's launch: 'We hope to create a life and health technologies cluster in the north and north west of the province.

'The Coleraine campus has the leading biomedical research group in the UK and its resources will be made available to support new biotechnology start-up companies within the incubator unit and afterwards when they are transferred to the Science Park site on the campus.'The university's vice-chancellor, Professor Lord Smith, said it is hoped to extend the initiative to other campuses.

'We have campuses at four locations across the province and a proposed development at Springvale in north and west Belfast.

'This places us in an unique position to offer tailor-made localised environments for business development and specialist services'.

A unit in Derry will focus on software research at Magee College, and one in Jordanstown will concentrate on businesses in the engineering and IT sectors.

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