More buck for UK knowledge exchange bang despite austerity

The amount of money that UK universities earn from knowledge exchange rose by 7 per cent to just over £3.3 billion between 2009-10 and 2010-11, according to a report by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

July 26, 2012

Hefce's analysis of the 11th annual Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction Survey, released on 26 July, found that income from contract research increased from £983 million to £1.05 billion.

Universities also made £606 million from providing continuing professional development and similar courses. Consultancy earned the academy £370 million, £8 million more than the previous year.

Just over £1.2 billion of the total came from public and third-sector organisations, a figure that has been rising steadily since 2003-04, the report shows.

Income from large businesses rose by 7 per cent to £629 million, although this was still below pre-recession levels.

Universities produced 268 formal spin-off companies, 5 fewer than in 2009-10. The report also notes a decline in the number of patents granted, from 8 to 757.

The report argues that the overall increase in knowledge-exchange income is "particularly impressive" given the "context of wider economic turbulence".

Although the analysis concludes that US universities are better at producing commercial licences than their UK peers, it also finds that UK institutions create more spin-off companies per pound of public money spent on research.

In January, David Willetts, the universities and science minister, said the academy should aim to increase its income from knowledge exchange by 10 per cent by 2014-15.

Sir Alan Langlands, chief executive of Hefce, said that the sector was "clearly delivering" on this ambition. "In challenging economic times, [it] is doing all it can to drive growth - in everything from the commercialisation of new knowledge, delivery of professional training and research with business, through to income from their equipment and services."

david.matthews@tsleducation.com.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Daniel Mitchell illustration (29 June 2017)

Academics who think they can do the work of professional staff better than professional staff themselves are not showing the kind of respect they expect from others

As the pay of BBC on-air talent is revealed, one academic comes clean about his salary

Senior academics at Teesside University put at risk of redundancy as summer break gets under way

Thorns and butterflies

Conditions that undermine the notion of scholarly vocation – relentless work, ubiquitous bureaucracy – can cause academics acute distress and spur them to quit, says Ruth Barcan

University of Oxford

Reinstatement of professor over age discrimination must force rethink over ‘unfair’ retirement rules, say campaigners