12 Apr 2018
In a bid to drive commercialisation out of English universities, the newly formed Research England have announced that £67m will be invested in 14 collaborative projects between academic and industry partners.
Successful projects include the formation of an agritech cluster in the East of England ran by the University of Cambridge, and support for bioeconomy in the North led by the University of York.
UK-wide projects include improving technology networks for the space industry and enabling multidisciplinary research through the Internet of Things.
The investment aims to serve as a tool for the Industrial Strategy, which hopes to increase the growth and productivity of the UK economy. To do this, the government wants to foster science and technology from the UK’s strong research base through commercialisation.
Business Secretary Greg Clark, who is responsible for the implementation of the Industrial Strategy, said: ‘Through the Industrial Strategy, Grand Challenges, and the funding announced today, we are helping turn innovative new ideas into products and services which could help change our lives and keep the UK as a world leader in developing the products of tomorrow.’
Over 120 businesses and 54 universities from across England are involved in the scheme. On top of the government investment, the projects have raised over £322 million of additional funding overall.
‘Britain is famous for its innovations. Up and down the UK, some of the brightest and best talent are undertaking research which can deliver extraordinary innovation that will transform our society for the better,’ said Clark.
The investment forms part of the £100m Connecting Capability Fund (CCF) announced during the 2016 Autumn Statement and initially ran by the Higher Education Funding Council for England – later merged into Research England.
CCF aims to support university collaboration with industry to promote commercialisation and encourage partnership that will help deliver the Industrial Strategy.
By Georgina Hines