European Regional Development Fund has just announced that they are to fund a new £1.6
million scheme designed to help small Coventry and Warwickshire companies who wish to
access the research skills of staff and students at the University of Warwick.
The new fund, which will be open to companies throughout the "Objective 2
Area" of Coventry and Warwickshire, provides a range of new opportunities
complementing the work of two schemes which larger local companies already use to draw on
University talent to solve particular business problems.
"KITTS" (Knowledge Innovation and Technology Transfer) - Many local companies
have already benefited from the STEP scheme where some of the region's brightest students
spend their summer months with a company solving a particular problem such as creating a
database, or helping in the creation of new hi-tech products or production processes. The
University of Warwick Science Park administers the scheme in the midlands. Some small
companies however have sometimes found the restriction to the summer period and the costs
involved (even though those are subsidised) restricts their ability to access the scheme.
The new funding will remove those problems by creating "KITTS". This will
subsidise cost to the company of employing a student by 50% and will also allow for
recently graduated students to be placed with companies at many different times of the
year - not just the summer.
"KITTS+" - The Teaching Company Scheme (TCS), provides for a University
researcher to join a company for two years to carry out particularly challenging projects
within that company. Some small companies however have sometimes found the two year
commitment and the costs involved (even though those are subsidised) restricts their
ability to access the scheme. The new funding will remove those problems by creating
"KITTS+" - like KITTS this scheme will subsidise the cost of the researcher
placed in the company by a massive 50%, and it will also allow researchers to undertake
much shorter projects lasting between 3 and 18 months in length.