Plans to commercialise university research, announced in the white paper on competitiveness last week, have received a positive response from academics.
Rodney Eastwood, director of planning at Imperial College, London, said:
"We support schemes that support the exploitation of university research. There is one caveat: we would not want (the new initiatives) to be seen as a substitution for the funding of mainstream research."
Richard Brook, chief executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, welcomed the opportunity to work with the Department of Trade and Industry to establish a network of Faraday partnerships.
The EPSRC runs four such partnerships, in which universities and businesses collaborate on applying university research to industrial problems. The DTI had intended to provide matching funding but had to pull out in early 1997 following a funding cut.
Ian Harvey, chief executive of BTG, a company that links universities with industry and patents and markets intellectual property, said: "It recognises the importance of the knowledge-based economy."