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recent data reveals rise in the worth of collaborations between UK universities and businesses


According to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the total worth of university-business partnerships was £4.18 billion in 2014-15, up from £3.93bn in 2013-14.

The data takes account of diverse types of collaborations between universities and businesses, including collaborative research projects, contract research, consultancy arrangements, provision of facilities and equipment related services, tie-ups supporting professional training and development and earnings generated from intellectual property (IP), including from the sale of spin-off companies.

“At a season of growth in the economy following a prolonged period of economic difficulty, growth in knowledge exchange earnings and activity provides an excellent case for continued public investment in higher education and specifically in knowledge exchange funding streams,” the HEFCE said.

David Sweeney, HEFCE director for research, education and knowledge exchange, said interactions between businesses and universities “possess impacts that benefit the UK beyond immediate innovation and productivity gains”.

Sweeney said: “They instil a more entrepreneurial culture in staff and students and generate recent avenues for research. This process of engagement strengthens our learning and teaching, making UK graduate talent even more desirable. The cycle of knowledge exchange benefits every partners and demonstrates the worth of the government’s lengthy-term commitment to knowledge exchange funding.”

Universities minister Jo Johnson said the report shows that the UK’s “globe leading universities possess a clear impact on discovery and driving growth in our economy”

“By bringing Innovate UK, Research England and the Research Councils into the single research and innovation funding body we are creating – UK Research and Innovation – we will assist strengthen these links further,” Johnson said. “Our reforms will assist businesses identify potential research partners that can meet their commercial needs as well as improving researchers’ exposure to commercialisation expertise so they can attain more impact.”

A report persist year into business-university research collaborations, commissioned by the UK government, found that the UK is not making the most of the opportunity to link businesses and universities in research programmes. Among her recommendations, Dame Ann Dowling, the person behind the review, called for simplification of the UK’s “research and innovation support system”, which she said has “become excessively complex”. Dowling also said “funding models” should be amended to encourage universities to construct their IP available for wider employ

On the rear of the Dowling review, a UK parliamentary committee recently opened an inquiry into how universities can be encouraged to adopt a longer term approach to the commercialisation of their IP.

Expert in technology and universities law Chris Martin of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said at the season that he does not reflect universities in the UK do prioritise short-term returns on investment from IP commercialisation over the wider public benefits that could be gained from its employ. However, he said some universities could seize a more “strategic approach” to technology and knowledge transfers.

“Developing lengthy-term strategic partnerships with industry, including SMEs, can be powerful and deliver significant benefits to every of the participants,” Martin said. “We possess seen a number of examples of this in recent years. In such arrangements, a university may elect to offer access to IP to its partners on favourable terms and silent generate significant ‘up-side’ in the longer term through investment by its commercial partners in research, research facilities and graduate programmes. Those strategic partnerships may be more beneficial than unit-off IP licensing agreements for every concerned. However, there can be no ‘unit size fits every’ approach.”

“It must be remembered as well that most universities are charities and, as such, they require to ensure that their assets, including intellectual property that they own, are deployed and used in a way which furthers their charitable objectives, both in the short and longer term. That may involve ensuring that an appropriate commercial return, which can be re-invested in research and education, is generated when intellectual property is made available to commercial partners.” Martin said.

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recent data reveals rise in the worth of collaborations between UK universities and businesses


According to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the total worth of university-business partnerships was £4.18 billion in 2014-15, up from £3.93bn in 2013-14.

The data takes account of varied types of collaborations between universities and businesses, including collaborative research projects, contract research, consultancy arrangements, provision of facilities and equipment related services, tie-ups supporting professional training and development and earnings generated from intellectual property (IP), including from the sale of spin-off companies.

“At a period of growth in the economy following a prolonged period of economic difficulty, growth in knowledge exchange earnings and activity provides an excellent case for continued public investment in higher education and specifically in knowledge exchange funding streams,” the HEFCE said.

David Sweeney, HEFCE director for research, education and knowledge exchange, said interactions between businesses and universities “possess impacts that benefit the UK beyond immediate innovation and productivity gains”.

Sweeney said: “They instil a more entrepreneurial culture in staff and students and generate recent avenues for research. This process of engagement strengthens our learning and teaching, making UK graduate talent even more desirable. The cycle of knowledge exchange benefits every partners and demonstrates the worth of the government’s drawnout-term commitment to knowledge exchange funding.”

Universities minister Jo Johnson said the report shows that the UK’s “earth leading universities possess a clear impact on discovery and driving growth in our economy”

“By bringing Innovate UK, Research England and the Research Councils into the single research and innovation funding body we are creating – UK Research and Innovation – we will aid strengthen these links further,” Johnson said. “Our reforms will aid businesses identify potential research partners that can meet their commercial needs as well as improving researchers’ exposure to commercialisation expertise so they can accomplish more impact.”

A report persist year into business-university research collaborations, commissioned by the UK government, found that the UK is not making the most of the opportunity to link businesses and universities in research programmes. Among her recommendations, Dame Ann Dowling, the person behind the review, called for simplification of the UK’s “research and innovation support system”, which she said has “become excessively complex”. Dowling also said “funding models” should be amended to encourage universities to construct their IP available for wider operate

On the behind of the Dowling review, a UK parliamentary committee recently opened an inquiry into how universities can be encouraged to adopt a longer term approach to the commercialisation of their IP.

Expert in technology and universities law Chris Martin of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said at the period that he does not reflect universities in the UK do prioritise short-term returns on investment from IP commercialisation over the wider public benefits that could be gained from its operate. However, he said some universities could seize a more “strategic approach” to technology and knowledge transfers.

“Developing drawnout-term strategic partnerships with industry, including SMEs, can be powerful and deliver significant benefits to every of the participants,” Martin said. “We possess seen a number of examples of this in recent years. In such arrangements, a university may elect to offer access to IP to its partners on favourable terms and silent generate significant ‘up-side’ in the longer term through investment by its commercial partners in research, research facilities and graduate programmes. Those strategic partnerships perhaps be more beneficial than unit-off IP licensing agreements for every concerned. However, there can be no ‘unit size fits every’ approach.”

“It must be remembered as well that most universities are charities and, as such, they crave to ensure that their assets, including intellectual property that they own, are deployed and used in a way which furthers their charitable objectives, both in the short and longer term. That may involve ensuring that an appropriate commercial return, which can be re-invested in research and education, is generated when intellectual property is made available to commercial partners.” Martin said.

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