This proposal is being submitted by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA). For the past 2 years, SWRDA has hosted the South West of England Innovation Relay Centre (SWIRC). As the sole contractor for this project, SWRDA will seek to improve the overall innovation and technology exploitation performance of the South West of England by ensuring that SWIRC continues to work in concert with other regional business support agencies in order to provide high quality Transnational Technology Transfer (TTT) services to its clients. The proposal indicates how the project's objectives contribute to the scientific, technical, wider societal and policy objectives of the Research and Innovation activity area. It demonstrates that, by working closely with a range of other initiatives across the region, the project will have a substantial impact on SWRDA's ability to deliver key aspects of its Corporate Plan. The proposal establishes that, given its experience of managing SWIRC since April 2000, SWRDA is a suitable and committed host organisation which will ensure that the project is managed and delivered successfully. From a methodological perspective, the proposal shows how SWIRC will provide the best possible innovation and TTT support to SMEs in the South West of England by tailoring its services to suit the innovation needs of client firms. At a regional level, the proposal highlights the fact that SWIRC will be a major source of expertise in the exploitation of intellectual property and in transnational technology transfer for the South West of England during 2004 - 2008 and beyond. At a European level, the proposal indicates how SWIRC will help to strengthen and develop the IRC network by playing an active role as a network member. Finally, by demonstrating the value of its TTT services in a regional innovation context, SWIRC will ensure it is able to sustain itself beyond the period of the contract.
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