N8 an exemplar model for fostering innovation

8 December 2011

The N8 Research Partnership featured as an exemplar model for creating innovation and research clusters in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth 2011, which was published in December 2011.

The case study highlights the strengths of the N8 model including the new the Industry innovation Forum, which is being launched in February 2012 and will connect leading businesses with universities to create ideas, insights and innovations.

The case study reads:

The N8, established in 2007, is a partnership of the eight research intensive universities in the North of England: Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York with access to over 18,000 academic staff and 51,000 postgraduate students.

The N8 has established virtual research centres in Regenerative Medicine and Molecular Engineering, combining “best with best” expertise across disciplines to work with SMEs, develop supply chains and connect to large industry players. The N8 is now bringing together a powerful network of research intensive universities, SMEs and global firms involved in R&D, such as AstraZeneca, Croda, National Nuclear Laboratory, Procter and Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, Siemens, Smith & Nephew and Unilever. Working with the Technology Strategy Board, N8 will pilot new approaches to engaging with business and in promoting and encouraging open innovation in specific technology priority areas.

This experience of collaborative working is also being applied to support the research and intelligence needs of Local Enterprise Partnerships and Local Authorities, for example in maximising the economic opportunities of an ageing population.

Click here to view the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth 2011 in full.

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