For further information contact Tony Trueman at the University of Bath in Swindon press office on 01793 328890 or 07966 341 322

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Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley

Press Release - 30 November 2004

New institute to solve productivity problems is proposed for Swindon

A new institute which would bring together academics and industrialists to solve Britain's productivity problems could be set up in Swindon.

The University of Bath in Swindon will bid for funding to establish an Institute for Integrated Industrial Innovation (i4), which would seek to emulate the success of similar university and industrial collaborations such as Silicon Valley in California.

Silicon Valley, CaliforniaIts mission would be to analyse factors that affect productivity in manufacturing and service industries, both public and private, and go on to design systems to improve this productivity. If funding for i4 is approved, it would employ around 250 people.

i4 would be a multidisciplinary approach, drawing in people with academic and industrial expertise in engineering, management, social sciences, life sciences, mathematics and information management. It would act as a nucleus around which new companies would be launched, some directly managed by i4.

The initiative is proposed at a time when the Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry are seeking ways to improve productivity in the UK.

The new centre would have the most modern facilities and would work at first in the aerospace, vehicle, software, telecommunications and packaging sectors. After the first phase this would broaden to construction, food, medical instruments, material processing, multi-media, pharmaceutical products and biotechnology.

A University spokesperson said: “Swindon is a vital ingredient, since the idea of development in partnership with major industrial sectors must be done in a location that helps bring maximum national and international impact.

“Swindon has an excellent communications network and is home to major international industry and service sector providers, and there are good networks with research-led universities.”

The University would draw upon its strengths in areas such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, IT, materials, computer systems, social sciences and management, and would work in collaboration with other universities and colleges in the area.

The University would also recruit industrial partners, and has already spoken with several large corporations. Government bodies would also be closely involved. More details of i4 will be available soon.

The i4 information is given in the second newsletter from the University of Bath in Swindon, which will be delivered to more than 100,000 homes in and around the town this week. The newsletter gives details of the University’s activities in the areas of business, arts and science.