UK universities have increasingly good business sense

February 19, 2004

Brussels, 18 Feb 2004

The Higher Education Business Interaction (HEBI) survey has found that UK universities and their spin-offs are flourishing and are creating more jobs than ever before.

'UK universities have risen to the challenge of transferring their knowledge into industry and are becoming increasingly entrepreneurial,' said UK Science and Innovation Minister Lord Sainsbury. 'Their pioneering work is being turned into practical applications and is making a valuable contribution to the economy and society.'

Since October 2001, the UK has invested almost 300 million GBP (444 million euro) in knowledge transfer, enabling universities, colleges and hospitals to increase their research and development potential and build strong links with industry.

The HEBI survey found that 213 new spin-off companies were set up in 2001/2002, compared to an average of 70 a year before the Higher Education Innovation Fund was set up.

From 2000 to 2002, the turnover of spin-off firms increased from 212 to 289 million GBP (314 to 428 million euro), while the number of people employed by such companies went from 10,500 to 12,000.

Furthermore, over the same period, the income received from intellectual property by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) increased by 83 per cent, and the number of patents recorded by HEIs rose by eight per cent.

The survey also showed that HEI income from contract research for business increased from 266 to 328 million GBP (394 to 485 million euro), while HEI income from consultancy increased from 103 to 122 million GBP (152 to 181 million euro).

'Such encouraging results demonstrate what universities and business can achieve when they work together,' emphasised. Alan Johnson, Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education. 'We have always maintained our commitment to encouraging effective university-business collaboration. I am confident that the increased resources we are providing through the Higher Education Innovation Fund will go a long way in boosting and increasing the success already recorded in this area'.

For more information on the scheme and examples of business interaction, please
click here

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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