As the ‘enterprise’ University, Plymouth has forged strong links with the business community across the South West through traditional avenues, such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and by creating opportunities for its students to develop employable skills through internships and placements.
But it is also pioneering a truly innovative approach to engaging with business through its founding partner role in the Peninsula Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN). In short, GAIN is an ‘umbrella’ organisation and growth hub, which is working to drive inward investment into formative companies and showcase the potential of Devon and Cornwall to the wider world.
GAIN has harnessed over £150 million worth of business support assets to create a critical mass of expertise, including the Tamar Science Park, the University’s own Formation Zone incubation facilities, and the Innovation Centres and the Unlocking Potential enterprise programme in Cornwall. Other projects are being plugged into the GAIN model, such as the University’s partnership with intellectual property developers Frontier IP, as well as the £1m worth of Regional Growth Fund money, which was awarded to Plymouth – the first university in the country to be granted such funding.
Taken together it offers support for enterprise of all sizes – especially SMEs, which are crucial to the future prosperity of Devon and Cornwall – including academic input into R&D, grant finance and City investment, collaboration, recruitment and relocation as they grow, and specific focus upon developing the marine renewables sector.