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University Enterprise Zone applications

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Dear Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,

In 2013[1] applications for a £15million scheme to "support entrepreneurship and innovation" were solicited by DBIS. Both Liverpool UEZ and Bradford UEZ submitted applications in January 2014, which were quoted from in a later document.[3](see footnotes p44 and p46) (Bristol and Nottingham won their bids as well, but I am including these specific dates in order to help you track down the records.)

Please could I be sent:

(1) The list of all applicants to this University Enterprise Zone scheme, the winners of which were announced in July 2014;[4]

(2) Copies of the filled in applications from these four successful applicants;

(3) Copies of the filled in applications from the remaining unsuccessful applicants.

I am interested in this information because, if the aim of this policy was to "stimulate development of incubator spaces for SMEs to interact with universities and to innovate",[2] then the construction of new buildings which facilitate no new access to technology, offer nothing but high rents, and that functionally undermines the work of local hacker/maker spaces already in existence achieves the exact opposite.

I believe the requested documents might go some way towards pinpointing the source of this policy failure.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/15-mi... (3 December 2013)

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio... (2 September 2014)

[3] https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio... (25 March 2015)

[4] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chanc... (3 July 2014)

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

BEIScorrespondence@beis.gov.uk on behalf of FOI Requests,

BEIS ref: FOI2017/21625

Dear Mr Todd

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 18th
September. Your request has been passed on to the appropriate official at
the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to deal
with.

Your request is being considered under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and we will reply at the latest by 16th October.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Information
Rights Unit at BEIS. Please remember to quote the reference number above
in any future communications.

Kind regards,

Information Rights Unit

Information Rights Unit | Department for Business, Energy and Industrial
Strategy | 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET | www.gov.uk/beis |
[email address] |

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is
making a difference by supporting sustained growth and higher skills
across the economy. BEIS: working together for growth

FOI Requests, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

1 Attachment

Dear Mr  Todd,

 

Please see the attached reply to your FOI request (FOI2017/21625).

 

If you have any queries, please contact the Information Rights Unit.

 

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

Kind regards,

 

Information Rights Unit

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

1 Victoria Street

London

SW1H 0ET

Email: [1][BEIS request email]

 

References

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1. mailto:[BEIS request email]

Dear Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,

Thank you for your response of 13 October 2017 to my 18 September 2017 request for information as to the material contents of the applications made by the seven applicants for government support and funding for the University Enterprize Zones.

It will not shock you that I am dissatisfied with the decision to withhold in their entirety documents created by these 100% public sector organizations applying for 100% public monies on the basis of "commercial interest" and "market-sensitive information".

In the first case, the only market here is between the government assessors and the public sector bodies, and the assessors already have this the information. This is not the case with some private sector profitable business transactions that could prejudiced if the customers knew the truth.

In the second case, Paragraph 34 of the current ICO Guidance[1] states:

"It is also important for a public authority to consider each clause within a contract, rather than view the contract as a whole."

Accordingly, I would much appreciate to be sent copies of the requested documents with any sensitive information redacted from them along with proper reasons in each case for how it could prejudice a commercial interest.

The information I am particularly interested in obtaining are sections concerning the sweeping generalization made in the second objective, that "there is little appetite in the private sector to invest in buildings on science parks providing incubator and grow-on space", and whether the applicants provided any substantive evidence based on facts on the ground in their area of the country, or merely acquiesced to the proposition for reasons of profit.

I hope you would agree that it would therefore limit effectiveness of government activity if this information were withheld in a matter that allowed these fundamental flaws in the policy to persist without any accountability.

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

[1] https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

BEIScorrespondence@beis.gov.uk on behalf of FOI Requests,

BEIS ref: FOI2017/21625

Dear Mr Todd

Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received on
14th October. Your request has been passed on to the appropriate official
at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to
deal with.

In line with the Information Commissioners guidance, internal reviews
should be responded to within 20 working days unless they are complex, in
which case a response should be sent within 40 working days. Please be
aware that this does not include weekends and bank holidays. The
Department aims to respond to requests for internal reviews as quickly as
possible. We hope to be in contact with you again shortly with a decision
on your request.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Information
Rights Unit at BEIS. Please remember to quote the reference number above
in any future communications.

Kind regards,
Information Rights Unit

Information Rights Unit | Department for Business, Energy and Industrial
Strategy | 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET | www.gov.uk/beis |
[email address] |

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is
making a difference by supporting sustained growth and higher skills
across the economy. BEIS: working together for growth

FOI Requests, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Todd,

 

We need more time to consider your request for an internal review
(FOI2017/21625).

 

Please see the attached document for more information.

 

If you have any queries, please contact the Information Rights Unit.

 

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

Kind regards,

 

Information Rights Unit

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

1 Victoria Street

London

SW1H 0ET

Email: [1][BEIS request email]

References

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1. mailto:[BEIS request email]

Dear FOI Requests,

Thank you for updating me on this Internal Review.

I hope you will agree that it's just easier to release the information requested than to spin this out unnecessarily.

It is important for people to know exactly what was claimed and what was promised (and therefore whether any outcomes were easily foreseeable) -- in the open and in time for lessons to be learned before any future attempts at public investments in the pursuit of high technology.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd

Dear FOI Requests,

How are we doing with the internal review of FOI2017/21625?

If you've already made your decision, but don't have time to write a response explaining how applications from public bodies to a public authority for public money should be withheld in their entirety on account of "commercial confidentiality" and "market-sensitive information", I'm happy to pass this request on to the ICO.

As I explained in my request for an internal review, I'm particularly interested in the sections of the forms that address the validity of the sweeping generalization that "there is little appetite in the private sector to invest in buildings on science parks providing incubator and grow-on space" in each of the cities concerned. If you are having trouble deciding on the commercial confidentiality of the remainder of the documents, please send me those sections in advance if you can.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd

FOI Requests, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

10 Attachments

Dear Mr Todd,

 

Please see the attached reply to your request for an internal review
regarding FOI2017/21625.

 

We apologise for the delay in sending you this response.

 

If you have any queries, please contact the Information Rights Unit.

 

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

Kind regards,

 

Information Rights Unit

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

1 Victoria Street

London

SW1H 0ET

Email: [1][BEIS request email]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[BEIS request email]

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