LONDON, May 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The incubator was originally created to bring together graduates in design, engineering and business from the Royal College of Art (RCA) and Imperial College London to form innovative interdisciplinary teams, and work with those teams to help transform their ideas into viable companies.
After a successful trial period, NESTA has committed a further GBP450k over the next three years to develop a model which is commercially sustainable and has a lasting impact on interdisciplinary innovation in the UK. The newly named 'Royal College of Art Business Incubator' will be based at the RCA's new Battersea campus.
The incubator will mix innovative design and business, recruiting and nurturing talented graduates with commercially viable products, technologies or services emerging from joint Royal College of Art and Imperial College London programmes. Through the incubation methods developed by Design London, incubatees will be able to develop the necessary proof of concept in order to raise follow-on investment at the end of the rapid incubation process.
Dr Nadia Danhash, Director of InnovationRCA said: "We're delighted that NESTA has been so impressed with the outcome of the Design London incubator that it has decided to further back us. This new Battersea incubator will provide the ideal environment for the commercial development of new designled technologies emerging from Royal College of Art and Imperial College London programmes which foster and catalyse interdisciplinary innovation."
George Whitehead from NESTA said: 'The UK has a world-class heritage in combining design and engineering to produce innovative products and services. But we can do more to develop these concepts into strong growth businesses for the benefit of the economy. The incubator will allow us to build a sustainable model that supports the development of innovative ideas, provides space for risk-taking and creates the right connections to help make these businesses achieve their full commercial potential.'
Over the last three years the Design London incubator has had more than an 80 per cent success rate, seeing it almost double the value of its initial stake in the enterprises it has developed. Current ventures employ over 30 people, with market capitalization varying from GBP800k to over GBP3million.
The Royal College of Art's Selected Works intellectual property commercialisation programme has delivered 10 licences and income greater than GBP900k and equity stakes in four active spin-out ventures with an estimated value approaching GBP1000k. InnovationRCA, which manages and commercialises the College's portfolio of intellectual property and leads its knowledge transfer programmes, has a strong IP property portfolio.
The Royal College of Art is also inviting Investors to match-fund incubated ventures, mitigating their risk while accessing fresh and exciting business ideas.
Conference May 24 2011
Design London at the RCA and Imperial College - The Story So far Higher Education to Transform Business Performance!
A 24-hour celebration of Design London, the UK's leading centre for interdisciplinary innovation, established following the Treasury's Cox Review: Creativity in Business in 2006 and funded by NESTA.
Design London, a collaboration between the RCA and Imperial College London fully affirms design's role in driving the UK's economic revival. To mark its fourth anniversary, the RCAå is hosting a conference and exhibition demonstrating Design London's contribution to new models for high performance innovation. Crucially it will highlight its role in helping create a new generation of business innovators and designer entrepreneurs whose innovations and skills are already beginning to transform businesses.
Information: Aine Duffy at firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Royal College of Art