£5m plan to help York­shire aca­demic re­search

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

TWO YORK­SHIRE uni­ver­si­ties are tak­ing part in a £5m pro­gramme to help get aca­demic re­search into busi­ness.

The Uni­ver­si­ties of Leeds, Sh­effield and Manch­ester will jointly es­tab­lish the North­ern Tri­an­gle Ini­tia­tive or NTI, which will help take novel re­search to mar­ket, de­vel­op­ing ideas based on in­no­va­tions in ar­eas such as ad­vanced ma­te­ri­als, med­i­cal tech­nolo­gies and com­puter sci­ence.

NTI aims to raise a fur­ther £350m to sup­port univer­sity com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion and to strengthen en­tre­pre­neur­ial ac­tiv­ity in the North of Eng­land. The Univer­sity of Leeds al­ready has a track­record in com­mer­cial­is­ing its re­search, cre­at­ing more than 110 spin-out com­pa­nies since 1995, six of which are listed on the fi­nan­cial mar­kets, and which cur­rently em­ploy over 800 peo­ple.

This new fund­ing, awarded by the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Fund­ing Coun­cil for Eng­land, is in­tended to ac­cel­er­ate closer links between uni­ver­si­ties and in­dus­try. It will pro­vide sources of fund­ing to sup­port new ideas as they move from academia into the mar­ket­place.

The Govern­ment an­nounced that £20m in to­tal will be al­lo­cated to English uni­ver­si­ties to forge closer links with in­dus­try. Jo John­son, the Uni­ver­si­ties and Sci­ence Min­is­ter, said: “Uni­ver­si­ties have a vi­tal role to play in their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and in the na­tional econ­omy.

“Given the record lev­els of pub­lic in­vest­ment in R&D, it is es­sen­tial that uni­ver­si­ties en­gage with busi­nesses and com­mu­ni­ties to make the most of their knowl­edge and re­search.”

Pro­fes­sor Lisa Roberts, deputy vice-chan­cel­lor: re­search and in­no­va­tion at the Univer­sity of Leeds, said: “This is a great op­por­tu­nity to build on our for­mi­da­ble rep­u­ta­tion in com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion. The Uni­ver­si­ties of Leeds, Manch­ester and Sh­effield are three re­search pow­er­houses in the North, and by work­ing to­gether we will have sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of our re­search.”

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