University innovation funding could be linked to SME work

Heif review to ‘look again’ at incentives for helping small businesses, says Hefce chief

April 17, 2014

Money universities receive to boost knowledge exchange could be linked to their work with small- and medium-sized businesses, the head of the England’s funding council has hinted.

The Higher Education Innovation Fund (Heif), currently worth £160 million a year, has been increasingly concentrated since 2011 on those universities that bring in larger amounts of money through their work with businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

But Madeleine Atkins, chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, told a conference this week that universities’ interaction with small- and medium-sized enterprises “could be better” and that the Treasury “would very much like to see our engagement with SMEs picking up”.

Hefce was reviewing how Heif funding works and will “look again” at the incentives for universities to work with SMEs, she told the annual conference of the Association of University Administrators, held in Manchester, on 16 April.

Further announcements would be made during this calendar year, she added.

One of Professor Atkins’ slides also showed which Local Enterprise Partnerships had the most links with universities mentioned in their strategy documents – the South East Midlands, Birmingham and Sheffield LEPs featured the most partnerships with the academy, dwarfing other regions such as Oxford.

She also warned about a “worrying” 8 per cent decline since 2005-6 in the number of UK students taking full-time taught master’s degrees.

“This is not a good picture if you’re looking at the government industrial strategy, if you’re looking at the need for economic growth,” she said.

Funding for postgraduate study should be a key focus of sector lobbying in the run up to the next Treasury spending review, she added.

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 6 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

Reader's comments (2)

Presently relatively few HEIs feature strongly in research, which presumably detracts from UK economic competitiveness. Perhaps therefore QR strategy could be modified to embrace CPD research capability (preferably aligned with the curiosity aspect), so potentially helping address the apparent associated performance shortfall of the sector In tandem maybe merging HEIF with much of the RC budget, and bids mainly awarded for innovative projects jointly shared with business and not-for-profits sponsors might also advantageously help.
Any way, the most important action is to broke the licentious circle: Thinking under the old Paradigm INVENTED in the 20 century, after the Lorentz’s misconception, the Einstein‘s fantasies and the Tale for children by Lemaitre, etc. It is most important to study a New Paradigm, no invented rather developed after correcting the Lorentz’s misconception. See please: Galileo-Newton and Lorentz-Carezani transformation http://autodynamicslborg.blogspot.com/2012/03/galileo-newton-and-lorentz-carezani.html Lucy Haye Ph. D. SAA’s representative

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

International Student Support Assistant YORK ST JOHN UNIVERSITY
Senior Lecturer: Architecture (Cultural Content) NORWICH UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS
Head of Department of Physics ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY
Research Assistant LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest