Royal College of Art Interdisciplinary Business Incubator Receives NESTA Backing

By Royal College Of Art, PRNE
Saturday, May 21, 2011

LONDON, May 23, 2011 -

- The Royal College of Art has Received Backing From NESTA to Continue to
Develop the Highly Successful Design London Business Incubator

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

Information: Aine Duffy +44(0)20-7590-4127 or aine.duffy at

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