Bolton has friends in the North

Bolton has friends in the North
Richard Ball Bolton Institute has won a DTI contract worth ?495,000 to support North of England companies in designing electronic systems. “Yes, we’ve been awarded a contract,” confirmed Richard Fairbank, head of the Bolton centre. “But the definition of the project is still ongoing.” The three-year programme aims to build on the government’s existing microelectronics in business (MiB) programme. It is expected to concentrate on the development of complex systems. “It will be aimed at a different sort of company [to MiB],” said Fairbank. “We’re not aiming at first time users, but experienced users looking to benefit from best practices.” Besides Bolton, seven other organisations are believed to have been awarded contracts, although the DTI is not releasing names. “At the moment we’re still putting the programme and team together,” said Tim Reynoldson, programme leader at the DTI. However, existing MiB centres, such as the Universities of Staffordshire, Bournemouth and Glamorgan, are expected to have applied for contracts. An official government launch is due in the spring. The programme will be represented at the Nepcon exhibition in early April, said a spokesperson. Bolton Institute has a good track record with previous initiatives to promote electronics including MiB and the EU’s FUSE (First User Action) programme. The latter, for example, has resulted in over ?2m in grants being paid to Northern firms to assist their moves into electronics.


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