Universities are generating more wealth and creating more jobs than ever
before, according to new Government figures.
The third annual Higher Education Business Interaction (HEBI) Survey shows that
during 2001-02, the amount of turnover made by spin-off companies increased
from £212m to £289m, and the number of people employed by spin-offs increased
from 10,500 to 12,000.
A ‘spin-off’ is an enterprise that is either fully or partly owned by a higher
education institution (HEI) or one of its staff, or one that has been set up by
HEI staff to exploit academic knowledge.
Science and innovation minister, Lord Sainsbury, said that UK universities
have risen to the challenge of transferring their knowledge into industry, and
are becoming increasingly entrepreneurial.
"Their pioneering work is being turned into practical applications and
is making a valuable contribution to the economy and society," he said.
The spin-off performance of universities in the UK is far better than those
in the US. Universities in the UK identified one spin-off firm for every £15m
of research expenditure, compared with one spin-off for every £44m in the US.
Alan Johnson, minister for lifelong learning, further and higher education,
said that the results demonstrate what universities and business can achieve
when they both work together.
Lord Sainsbury said: "We have made large investments in knowledge
transfer over the past few years, and it is good to see it bearing fruit. The
three surveys show a dramatic improvement."