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North West Innovation Network (NWIN) is an association of organisations in the North West of England who have a major focus on supporting innovation in the region. It has been in operation since 1999, initially known as the North West Science Park Network (NWSPN).
NWIN has over 20 member organisations focused around the provision of facilities and business support to high-tech SME businesses, it includes:
The science park and incubator members provide a home and innovative business environment to over 900 companies in the region. These companies employ nearly 9,000 people. The companies are predominantly technology companies and SME businesses, covering sectors such as advanced engineering, biomedical, digital/ICT/creative, energy and environmental technology.
NWIN provides the following services to its members on a free of charge basis:
There has been a report in which some of the main results have been described from a survey that was previously done on the impact of the measure.
The main finding of the survey was that the overall impacts of the programmes was not significant with regard to changes in the scores on the four key capacity dimensions. However, the data from both interviews and verbatim comments from the surveys, suggests that the capacity building programmes were viewed positively and generally well-recieved. The report discusses the implications of these findings and offers some tentative interpretations as to why great shifts were not observed. For example, perhaps with all the varioation that exists within the different programmes, participatns and teaching methods, a complex and unsystematic set of results might be expected.
One of the main findings suggested that participatns who gained support from the measure had limited opportunities to utilise the knowledge and skills gained on the programme. However, the knowledge was very beneficial in progressing forward with innovative programmes and they will be of great use in the following period. This provides a good idea how capacity development of the measure can be used better and the existance of a report based on a survey of the participants is helpful indicator to further modifications and joint efforts in development.