Reporter 450, 3 April 2000
Britainís £2.5bn market for biotechnology and life sciences equipment and materials is the prime target for a newly-launched e-commerce business, Sci-ware.com, unveiled last week by the University, the Forward Innovation Fund and ULIS.
Prime mover: Sci-ware chief Dr David Hames
Forward has agreed to invest more than £6.5m in the first phase of the deal. One of the UKís leading internet service providers, Planet Online, is also on board.
The University, its technology transfer company ULIS and the inventors will own a stake in Science Warehouse, trading as Sci-ware.com. Its prime mover, Dr David Hames, will be seconded from the School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to be company chief executive.
University Vice-Chancellor Alan Wilson said: "This deal demonstrates that universities can put themselves at the forefront of the new economy.
"We expect to make significant efficiency savings in our procurement activities through our link with Sci-ware." Planet Online managing director John Beaumont is joining the Sci-ware board in a non-executive capacity.
Technology incubator group Forward has set up a £20m fund to help University of Leeds researchers commercialise their findings; business software company Virtual Working Systems was its first beneficiary.
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