Funding for knowledge transfer should become a permanent third stream alongside funding for teaching and research, according to science minister Lord Sainsbury.
Speaking at the Association for University Research and Industry Links conference at Stirling University, Lord Sainsbury said he had been delighted by the applications for funding to the "Reach-Out to Business and the Community Fund". The first round has already awarded Pounds 60 million.
This development of a third stream of funding was sponsored jointly by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Education and Employment, he said. It aimed to strengthen partnerships between the business sector and higher education institutions in England, alongside complementary moves in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Lord Sainsbury said he was working with other ministers to improve the country's performance in innovation, including technology and knowledge transfer.