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Establishment of Cambridge Enterprise: Notice

9 June 2003

Recommendation IX of the Seventh Report of the Board of Scrutiny (Reporter, 2001-02, p. 1306) stated: 'Strategic plans and service standards should be drawn up for each of the new Divisions that, inter alia, demonstrate that the new administrative structure and continuing expansion of the UAS is cost-effective. The Board also believes that there should be regular reviews of the structure of the UAS in order to ensure that the reforms are working.' In the Discussion on that Report (Reporter, 2002-03, p. 273), Dr M. R. Clark, drew particular attention to the comments on the Research Services Division and the Technology Transfer Office, and to proposals then before the Council for changes in arrangements for support for technology transfer and business creation. This Notice gives further information about those changes.


The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence. Graduates leave the University equipped to make significant contributions to public, private, and educational sectors around the world. The University is committed to ensuring that the knowledge generated by the research activities of its academic community is available to benefit the UK and global economies as well as society more generally. As part of this commitment the University is placing increased emphasis on technology transfer through licensing, through collaborative partnerships with business, and through the creation of spin-out companies by the University's academic staff. In the long term, this should contribute to sustained economic growth for the United Kingdom, thereby benefiting the community through the increase in wealth, employment, and value-added products and services. This in turn will enable the economy to finance further research of the highest quality at the University.

The UK Government now clearly recognizes the role that universities in the UK can play in contributing to social gain through the combination of both the generation and exploitation of science. 'Together, the generation and exploitation of science enable us to do more and to do it better: to deliver economic growth and enrich the quality of life, to widen choices for industry and individuals and improve the way we meet our current and future needs. ... Success in innovation can in turn provide the motivation for focused research, attract talented people and inspire public confidence in science and technology as well as providing the extra value added which can resource future increases in scientific research and business R&D.'1

The University has already taken significant steps in the development of a number of the individual components for a system to apply its knowledge based across a wide range of academic disciplines. Over the past five years, organizations have been established via various funding streams to deliver: effective and professional technology transfer (building on the University's long experience through the Wolfson Industrial Liaison Office); entrepreneurship teaching and support; and seed capital funding services to members of the University of Cambridge.

During the past year, these organizations have been working more closely together, enhancing communication, co-operation, and delivery. This has helped to address a number of smaller operational problems but it has also revealed that to develop the best service for Cambridge requires the establishment of a single organization with clear mission, strategy, and objectives.


The Council have now approved a restructuring of the organizations and departments involved in technology transfer and new venture creation. The Technology Transfer Office, the University Challenge Fund, Cambridge University Technical Services Ltd (CUTS), and the business creation and business incubation elements of the Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre have been combined together in a new organization called Cambridge Enterprise, whose purpose is to improve the support available to the academic community to make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of themselves, the University, and the UK economy.

Cambridge Enterprise will be set up within the Research Services Division of the Unified Administrative Service. The post of Director of Cambridge Enterprise will be advertised soon. The acting Director will be Peter Hiscocks, formerly Director of the Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre. Funding for the new organization will come from existing budgetary provision and Cambridge Enterprise will follow the practice of CUTS in charging for its services to cover its own costs. In the future it will aim to make a small surplus each year, to be used for investment in areas such as expanding patenting or providing 'proof of concept' grants. Cambridge Enterprise will submit an annual report to the Council for approval. This will include a business plan and will account for its revenues, including grants, and expenditures, including overheads, and propose new services where these will add value.

The teaching of entrepreneurship will remain the responsibility of the Judge Institute of Management Studies. Cambridge Enterprise will contract with the entrepreneurship teaching group within the Judge Institute to deliver such teaching in entrepreneurship as it considers important to support and encourage enterprise and entrepreneurship within the University. Courses will be planned in conjunction with the Judge Institute and the delivery of these courses will be carried out by the Judge Institute.

Contact details for Cambridge Enterprise are as follows:

UMS:Cambridge Enterprise
Post: Research Services Division
 16 Mill Lane
 CB2 1SB
Tel: 01223 (7)60342
Fax: 01223 (3)32988
E-mail: enterprise@rsd.cam.ac.uk

1 'Investing in Innovation: A Strategy for Science, Engineering and Technology', HM Treasury, July 2002. http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/mediastore/otherfiles/science_strat_sum02.pdf

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Cambridge University Reporter, 11 June 2003
Copyright © 2003 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.