More than Pounds 60 million of grants have been awarded to English universities and colleges in a government initiative to promote stronger links between higher education and business.
Eighty-five proposals have been backed by the Higher Education Reach Out to Business and the Community Fund.
The project is jointly funded
by the Department for Education and Employment and the Department of Trade and Industry and run by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Among the projects are:
The University of Derby's plan to create a pro-active regional enterprise development office
A series of King's College, London initiatives that include fostering business interaction with courses and surveying business demand
The establishment of the Aston University Business Partnership Unit to encourage secondments to industry and ensure the rapid transfer of ideas, products and processes.
Lord Sainsbury, minister for science and innovation, said: "The high quality of the applications demonstrates that higher education institutions in this country have taken up the challenge to work with business."