University spin-off projects help boost UK economy

UK
universities are establishing stronger commercial links with the business
sector, research has found.

The
Higher Education Business Interaction Survey shows that institutions are
involved in more spin-off companies and have an increasing role in economic
development.

The
survey shows that the proportion of higher education institutions’ research
income has increased to 12.3 per cent in 1999/2000 from 10.9 per cent in
1995/96.

It
also reveals that 90 per cent of institutions employed specialist staff to
support commercial work and half offered incubation or start-up facilities.

Total
patents filed by institutions increased by 22 per cent since 1998.

Science
minister Lord Sainsbury said, "Creating stronger links between universities
and businesses is an important part of improving our economic performance while
maintaining excellence in higher education.

"As
the report says, these figures seem to confound the received wisdom that UK
higher education institutions are much less entrepreneurial than their North
American counterparts."

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