Research companies could win free access to STFC facilities

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Companies developing products geared towards making an impact on the environment, healthcare or energy sectors are being offered the chance to win free access to research and technology facilities to further develop their ideas.

Today, the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) launched a challenge that offers any UK company or organisation researching products and services in these sectors the chance to work at its Innovations Technology Access Centre (I-TAC) for periods of up to six months for free.

Winners of the so-called I-TAC Futures Challenge will also have access to the expertise of STFC scientists on the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus.

Organisations entering simply need to show that they are working in the areas of energy, healthcare or the environment and how they would benefit from access to laboratory space and equipment. As part of the entry process, companies are advised to visit I-TAC to see the facilities and equipment that are available to help them prepare their applications.

I-TAC manager Dr Martin Morlidge said: ’Each prize winner will be supported by STFC staff to ensure that they get the most out of their time here. To win the competition could mean the difference between a start-up company with an idea that could help address some of society’s key challenges and one that really can make a difference.’

The closing date for entries is 30 November 2010 and the winners will be announced on 10 December 2010. All awards will then start early in 2011.

Further information about the competition can be found by visiting the I-TAC website.