Cable is HWIC to praise

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The Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, praised the work of one of Cornwall’s “impressive” innovation centres during a visit to the Duchy yesterday (September 4).

Dr Cable met with some of the growing companies based at the Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre (HWIC) in Truro when he visited the business acceleration centre, and chatted to owners about the needs of small businesses in Cornwall.

Business Secretary Vince Cable with Amanda Barlow, MD of Spiezia Organics, in the company’s manufacturing labs at HWIC
Business Secretary Vince Cable with Amanda Winwood, MD of Spiezia Organics, in the company’s manufacturing labs at HWIC

The HWIC facility is one of three Cornwall innovation centres operated by Plymouth University on behalf of Cornwall Council.

The centre’s first annual survey in January 2014 showed that HWIC has supported the creation of 33 new jobs, and helped companies to achieve annual growth rates of up to 46% – more than four times the national average – boosting their turnover by almost half a million pounds.

Dr Cable said: “This is a really impressive facility. Centres like this are certainly part of the solution to address the issue of people moving away from Cornwall for work, and we need to see more centres like this.

“There is some really good work going on here supporting these growing companies, and I enjoyed the chance to hear more about it.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Much as I agree with Mr Cable’s sentiments – and applaud his recognition of the Innovation Centres – I wonder if perhaps his statement is a bit limited in its scope.

    Creating the conditions where volumes of fledgling businesses can thrive like this can be more than just part of the solution to Cornwall’s brain drain… why can’t this be the model to breathe new life into the UK economy as a whole?

    A big company can’t usually achieve 20,30 or 40% growth in a year – whether in turnover, profit, headcount and whatever. But small businesses can. So why not focus efforts on getting ten times as many small companies to all grow?

    Even in our own local economy, if just half the microbusinesses in Cornwall can take on even one new recruit each, we’ve pretty much solved underemployment here. (Or are my sketchy maths out by a factor of 10?)

    Importantly, along the way, we get ten times as many innovations. Ten times as many new leaders. And ten times as many shots at building the next great British brand.

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