£185m boost for knowledge transfer plans

The
Government today announced the largest funding awards yet to be given to
support the transfer of knowledge from universities to business and the wider
community.

Part
of its drive to boost the UK’s innovation performance and productivity, the
scheme is a key element in The Government’s strategy to increase prosperity and
provide high-quality job opportunities.

A
total of 124 awards worth more than £185m over the next two years (academic
years 2004-2006) – have been made under the second round of funding for the
Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF2). The awards will help English
universities and colleges across the country to carry out a range of knowledge
transfer-related activities, which include:


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


contributing specialised knowledge to regeneration programmes


a network of 22 new centres for knowledge exchange activity, with a wide
geographic spread, that will be exemplars of best practice in skills
development, training and how to engage with small and medium-sized businesses


entrepreneurship training and continued professional development for students
and academics.

Announcing
the funding awards, science and innovation minister Lord Sainsbury said:
"Our universities play a vital role in generating world-class knowledge
and research and providing us with a highly qualified workforce. It is
essential that they continue to develop and enhance their capability to work
with business to turn new ideas and technology into prosperity and jobs.

"The
fund will achieve its focus of supporting many existing successful projects as
well as providing the means for more to be set up by a wider range of higher
education institutions," he said.

By Quentin Reade

Comments are closed.