Re: academic sources of rp services

From: Steve Upcraft (
Date: Fri Feb 26 1999 - 13:57:55 EET

Kevin & RP Colleagues,

I manage the 'Innovative Manufacturing Centre', a technology transfer
centre on behalf of the University of Nottingham in the UK.

We are a team of 5 engineers using Unigraphics, Pro-E & AutoCAD in
conjunction with an SLA350, an SLA 250, a LOM, an FDM and an Actua. We
are employed by the University and the equipment and facilities were
assembled with the assistance of the European Regional Development Fund
[ERDF](i.e. grant money).

The objective of the centre is to encourage small and medium sized
businesses to 'explore and exploit' the latest time compression
technologies. To do this we undertake paid work on behalf of client
businesses. Our rates are set at 85-95% of the typical/current market
rates, this differential encourages new starters and reflects the
Universities commitment to supporting entrepreneurial business activity
in our immediate area. Frequent users of the centre are encouraged to
migrate out and use the commercial service bureaux thereby enabling
other newcomers to have access to the limited resources available at the

Additionally the IMC generates revenue from its training & seminar
programme as well contributing towards an extensive range of research
activities undertaken by this University and others.

The ERDF funding period ceased at the end of 1998, with the exception of
training and research funding, our 'design & build' activities are no
longer grant assisted. With the ending of our European funding the
internal and external auditors are currently in the process of assessing
the effectiveness of this facility over the 2 year funded period, their
reports have not been finalised so there may be slight changes to the
figures detailed below but nothing significant (we hope), the following
information is therefore provided in good faith...

Targets & Objectives of the IMC for 1997 & 1998...
Businesses to visit the Centre - target 500, actual 509.
Technology Transfer Projects - target 150, actual 249.
Businesses linked via a 'Forum' - target 100, actual 89 (still growing).

Jobs created/retained - target 50, actual 47.
Cash generated - target 236K, actual 232K (excludes training &

During the funding period we made a conscious effort not to compete with
the commercial service bureaux, particularly on price. Our role is that
of hand holding new adopters of these technologies and we see ourselves
very much as a market development facility. We cannot deliver against
our current targets if we are at odds with our bureaux colleagues, at
present we have a healthy, professional working relationship with a
number of the major bureaux here in the UK - we intend to develop this
position still further.

My colleagues and I will watch the ensuing debate on the rp-ml with
considerable interest. If anyone wants more information either visit our
site (this will shortly be undergoing a major update following the
completion of the ERDF phase of this project) or you can mail me



Steve Upcraft
General Manager +44(0) 115 925 6142 phone
Innovative Manufacturing Centre +44(0) 115 926 6147 fax
5 William Lee Buildings
University Boulevard
Nottingham. UK

Interpro Rapid Technologies wrote:

> Dear RPML Here in Connecticut, we have a state funded college
> providing RP services at rates that are significantly below what we in
> private industry can compete with. The RP equipment was bought with
> tax dollars, and runs in a lab staffed by students and state workers.
> Since we have lost a lot of business to this group, it would be
> helpful to hear from others (service providers, academic groups, ...)
> who may be in similar situations. How has this conflict been handled
> elsewhere? Any suggestions? Kevin DyerInterPRO Rapid Technologies
> Russ Blackledge
> InterPRO Rapid Technologies
> 630 Industrial Park Road
> Deep River, CT 06417
> voice: 860.526.5869 fax: 860.526.8056
> e-mail:
> For more information about the rp-ml, see

For more information about the rp-ml, see

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:51:05 EEST