Skip to main content

Article Category

News

Article available in the folowing languages:

UK government rewards innovation in higher education

The UK government announced the latest round of its innovation awards for higher education institutions - worth GBP 52 million (76.4 million euro) to 11 universities on 18 May. This round of awards recognises innovation in a variety of areas, including the targeting of early ...

The UK government announced the latest round of its innovation awards for higher education institutions - worth GBP 52 million (76.4 million euro) to 11 universities on 18 May. This round of awards recognises innovation in a variety of areas, including the targeting of early signs of disease, boosting the number of entrepreneurs, and moving UK creative industries into China. The awards are designed specifically to develop stronger ties between academia and industry, and to build strong technology transfer enterprises. Such schemes in the UK and in Finland, Sweden and Denmark, have provoked debate in the rest of Europe, which generally lags behind these Member States in innovation and technology transfer. Echoing the words of EU Commissioner for research, Janez Potocnik, UK Secretary Of State For Trade And Industry Alistair Darling said: 'Innovation and science are the keys to UK economic growth. Figures show that university spin-outs floated on the stock market over the last two years were valued at more than GBP 1 billion. Exploiting the wealth of knowledge in higher education and translating that into real business opportunities is, therefore, vitally important for the UK economy.' Mr Darling went on to say: 'The Higher Education Fund brings together university research with private sector investment, and stimulates a culture of entrepreneurship within Higher Education institutions.' Commissioner Potocnik wants to develop such a culture, as does former Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho, who headed an expert group that published a report on European innovation in January. 'Innovation is key to our future prosperity,' added Mr Darling. The 11 institutions recognised are as follows: - University of Arts, London - GBP 5 million to increase the competitive advantage of British creative industries in China and India. - University of Birmingham - GBP 3.612 million to establish the UK hub of the International Innovation Xchange. - University of East Anglia - GBP 4.864 million for its Carbon Connections project. - University of Essex - GBP 4.632 million for its Business Edge entrepreneurship through education project. - University of Leeds - GBP 4.731 million for the White Rose project, to develop innovative healthcare strategies based on new technologies and an American model. - Manchester Metropolitan University - GBP 5 million for the OMEGA (Opportunities for Meeting the Environmental challenge of Growth in Aviation) project. - Oxford Brooks University - GBP 5 million for the CommercilaiSE project. - Queen Mary University of London - GBP 4.978 million for its Innovation China UK project (funding subject to specific criteria). - University of Sheffield - GBP 4.792 million for its Centre for Excellence in Customised Assembly, which will bring innovation to manufacturing industries, supporting areas from aviation to pharmaceuticals. - University College London - GBP 5 million for its Building Sustainable Communities project. - University of Wolverhampton - GBP 5 million for its Student Placements for Entrepreneurs in Education project, which will create 750 new enterprises through identifying new entrepreneurial talent. The current round of funding also gives money to 22 'centres of knowledge exchange', distributing more than GBP 200 million in total. The funding supports the UK government's ten-year 'Science and Innovation Framework'. The Higher Education Innovation Fund gives 75 per cent of its total budget to all universities. Universities compete for the final 25 per cent