The recently launched UNISPIN programme, supported by the Community's INNOVATION programme, aims to promote regional "spin-off" programmes to assist in the establishment of spin-off companies from universities, other higher education institutions and research laboratories. The objective is to promote new business, self-employment, economic diversification and technology transfer in the regions concerned. Spin-off companies, also known as "campus companies", developed by universities and research institutes have proved to have a major impact on the industrial and employment structures of some regions. These companies are usually technology-based and innovative, and as such, have a strong effect on economic development. The programme is open to all institutions in the EU, such as universities, local and regional authorities, development agencies, business and innovation centres and chambers of commerce, and a limited number from Central and Eastern European countries. The UNISPIN partners are universities or research institutes which have successfully implemented spin-off programmes in their home regions. UNISPIN provides participants with tools to establish a tailor-made spin-off programme for their region, modelled on schemes already successfully implemented in Europe. A two-day workshop, followed up by individual assistance, including a feasibility study, in the planning of a local programme, forms the first phase of UNISPIN participation. The second phase continues with the detailed operational planning, and preparations for launching the local programme. A series of two-day workshops will be held in October and November 1997, as follows: - Twente, The Netherlands: 9-10 October; - Rome or Catania, Italy: 23-24 October; - Linköping, Sweden: 30-31 October; - Dundalk, Ireland: 6-7 November. UNISPIN was selected for Community funding under the INNOVATION programme as a result of the call for proposals for projects for European Networks and Services, published on 15 December 1995 (OJ No S 240 of 15.12.1995 p. 42). It was launched on 23 February 1997.
Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden