European Commission Director visits Coventry University

University news

Thursday 05 July 2012

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Coventry University will be playing host to European Commission Director, Daniel Calleja, tomorrow (6th July) to discuss the work of EC business support networks in the region and meet SMEs who have benefitted from the help offered by the University.

Daniel Calleja, Director General of DG Enterprise and Industry, will be meeting with Joanne Dobson, Director for Strategic Relationships, academics and members of the various projects teams on Friday 6th July.

Mr Calleja’s department works to strengthen Europe's industrial base; promote innovation; encourage the creation and growth of SMEs and promote an entrepreneurial culture; and ensure an open internal market for goods.

As a Special Envoy for SMEs, Mr Calleja will be updated on EU-funded SME Support Programmes linked with the University. He will also be briefed about the significant work taking place within the Midlands Enterprise Europe Network which is part of the European Commission’s official business support network. Mr Calleja will hear about progress on the project which is based here at Coventry University, and also about its beneficiaries.

One such project to be showcased on the day is the dimmable Ultra Efficient Light created by Integrated Systems Technology Ltd (IST). This company received an Innovation Networks grant to develop the new product, which produced the first high power dimmable high efficiency LED down lighter capable of working on standard dimmer switches. Dr Geoff Archenhold, from IST, will on hand to discuss how this has become one of the mainstay products in the business.

During his visit, the Director General will also have chance to see the new H2EV hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, developed by Coventry University spin-out company Microcab.

Malcolm Harbour, West Midlands MEP will be accompanying Mr Calleja and commented:

“The European Parliament has been supporting the Commission in its plans to promote Single Market opportunities for small business. This is a key role for the European Enterprise Network, which is an important initiative for our region. It is great that Daniel Calleja is coming to support our work."

John Latham, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Business Development at Coventry University, said:

We are delighted to be hosting this visit from Mr Calleja, as we believe the European Commission is a key enabler in the delivery of our service. It offers us a great opportunity to showcase the work we are doing here at Coventry University to assist local SMEs and to help ensure that the West Midlands remains a key player in the recovery of the UK economy.

For further information please contact Sarah-Jane Dean, Communications Assistant, Coventry University, on +44 (0)24 7688 8245 or email