Brussels, 15 Jun 2004
The UK has announced its largest round of funding for knowledge transfer from universities to business and the wider community. Among the recipients of the funding will be 22 new centres for knowledge exchange activity.
A total of 124 awards, worth more than 9 million euro, will be made over the next two academic years. The government's ultimate aim in making this support available is to boost the UK's innovation performance and productivity.
'It is essential that [our universities] continue to develop and enhance their capability to work with business to turn new ideas and technology into prosperity and jobs,' said the UK's Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Sainsbury.
The awards will be used by English universities and colleges to implement a range of knowledge transfer activities. These include:
- the establishment of a network of 22 new centres for knowledge exchange activity that will become exemplars of best practice in skills development, training, and engaging small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs);
- promoting networking between universities and businesses;
- developing the infrastructure and capability to transfer knowledge from universities into business and the community;
- seed funding to provide venture capital for early stage exploitation of ideas;
- entrepreneurship training and professional development.
One of the major features of the projects to receive funding is collaboration. Of the 124 awards, 46 are for collaborative partnerships involving more than 100 higher education institutions.
The money has been made available under the government's Higher Education Innovation Fund.