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PRESS RELEASE
23 September 2004

Media Lab Europe and Highlands and Islands Enterprise Network Cement Partnership

DUBLIN, IRELAND - SEPTEMBER 23, 2004 - Media Lab Europe and the Highlands and Islands Enterprise network (HIE) have signed a two-year strategic partnership agreement following the successful completion of a 12-month pilot programme.

The "Regional Development Agency Research Partnership Agreement" comes into force on October 1 and is aimed at enabling small businesses in the Highlands and Islands region of Scotland harness the potential of new technologies emerging from Media Lab Europe.

The agreement, which is worth €300,000 a year to Media Lab Europe, includes opportunities for technology transfer and commercialisation activities.

HIE is responsible for economic and community development in an area which covers more than half of Scotland.

Simon Jones, Media Lab Europe managing director, commented: "This collaboration was the first of its kind involving Media Lab Europe and a public agency and the pilot programme has proven to be a tremendous success. We are confident that the new partnership agreement will prove a template for similar Media Lab Europe/public agency partnerships in the future."

Among the key objectives of the Regional Development Agency Research Partnership Agreement are:

  • Enabling businesses, government agencies and academia to access leading-edge research in a practical and relevant manner.
  • Establishing a programme for the application of collaborative outputs in the form of knowledge, products and processes.
  • Creating opportunities for the commercial exploitation by the partnership of commercial products emerging from the research programme.
  • Supporting Highlands and Islands Enterprise networks efforts to improve collaboration between business and academic and research communities.
  • Identifying research themes which support the strategic goals of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise network.

Calum Davidson, Head of HIE's knowledge economy team said: "This agreement will help accelerate the commercial application of research emerging from Media Lab Europe for small and medium enterprises and micro-businesses in the Highlands and Islands region of Scotland."

About Media Lab Europe
Media Lab Europe is an international research and innovation Lab. It is also the European research partner of the world renowned MIT Media Lab. Its interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to innovation provides a unique environment for exploring advanced research that facilitates the development of technologies that expand human potential right across society. Media Lab Europe is a not-for-profit organisation that supports its work through corporate, community, academic and public research partnerships. http://www.medialabeurope.org

About The Highlands and Islands Enterprise Network
The Highlands and Islands Enterprise network (HIE) is responsible for economic and community development in an area which covers more than half of Scotland, from Shetland to Argyll. HIE's headquarters are in Inverness and most of its services are delivered through ten local enterprise companies. Its activities include: provision of business support services, delivery of training and learning programmes, assistance for community and cultural projects and measures for environmental renewal. The network employs around 500 people, including 150 Careers Scotland staff and last year invested more than £100 million to help people living in the Highlands and Islands realise their full potential.
http://www.hie.co.uk

For further information contact:
David Martin
Fleishman-Hillard Saunders
Tel: 01 6188410/085 6030969

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