University praised by Lord Mitchell

Lord Parry Mitchell, Labour’s Enterprise Adviser, meets staff, students and entrepreneurs at Nottingham’s Innovation Park

Lord Mitchell was shown some of the latest buildings and construction projects at the Innovation Park, including the GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry, the Romax Technology Centre, the Energy Technology Building and the Aerospace Technology Centre. 

While at The University of Nottingham Innovation Park, Lord Mitchell also visited the University’s Technology Demonstrator, which displays some of the inventions which have been commercialised by the University, including the Heartlight baby monitor, for monitoring the heartbeat of babies born prematurely, and also the microwave processing of vermiculite, a mineral widely used in fireproofing and horticultural markets.

Lord Mitchell was given a tour of the Sir Colin Campbell Building and met with some of the innovative businesses based there, such as Skeleton Productions, a fast-growing video production company which was started by Nottingham graduates. He also met with students in the EnterpriseLab at the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which provides an environment for students and graduates to develop business ideas. Along with hot-desks and shared office facilities, members can use the Lab as a business address and are given access to business mentors and advisers.

Lord Mitchell, a successful entrepreneur, founded, grew and subsequently sold three international companies in the IT services sector — Standard Chartered Leasing Ltd; United Leasing plc and Syscap plc. He also formed and chaired the eLearning Foundation which provides laptops for disadvantaged children.

During his visit, he emphasised the role that universities can play in the development of small businesses. Impressed by the extensive examples of enterprise and innovation on The University of Nottingham Innovation Park, he said: “Universities are critical for the development of small businesses and The University of Nottingham’s foundation is entrepreneurial; it has a history of being an innovator.”

Lord Mitchell also encouraged the University to continue to support small businesses, he commented: “Starting your own business is not just about money. It’s exciting! You have to go into it knowing that you may well fail but that this isn’t the end of the world. If you think you can do it, then do it.” 

Mike Carr, Director of Business Engagement and Innovation Services at The University of Nottingham, added: “We are very pleased that Lord Mitchell visited us to see the work we are doing. There are lots of exciting things happening at The University of Nottingham Innovation Park — it’s a stimulating environment in which businesses and academics can work together to develop innovative ideas.”

Lord Mitchell concluded his visit by saying: “The UK is absolutely ahead of anywhere else in Europe when it comes to the development of small businesses. Congratulations on everything you are doing at The University of Nottingham.”



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