First iNet founded

East Midlands technology companies and universities habve signed a contract to form the first Innovation Network (iNet) to help organisations better exploit new technologies.

The East Midlands Development Agency (emda) has appointed healthcare support organisation Medilink East Midlands to deliver iNet activity through a consortium of partners for the healthcare sector over the next three years. Key partners include: Biocity, bioKnex, East Midlands NHS Innovation Hub, NottinghamTrentUniversity, DerbyUniversity, LoughboroughUniversity, LeicesterUniversity andNottinghamUniversity.

iNets are an initiative being run by emda and East Midlands Innovation, the regional science, innovation and industry council, to boost activities that will help the region flourish and increase its competitive advantage.

iNets are designed to bring together partnerships of regional businesses, universities, the public sector and innovative individuals around a shared interest in a market sector or the technologies that underpin it. According to emda and East Midlands Innovation, this will help tackle the current low levels of research and development across the region’s businesses.

Other iNets, covering food and drink, sustainable construction and transport equipment, are set to follow towards the end of the year and early in 2008. Each will be tasked with improving investment in innovation, helping firms take their new ideas to market, increasing business and university interactions and raising the profile of skilled innovators.