N8 Welcomes Increase In University-Industry Collaboration


The role of universities in driving economic growth has been highlighted in the latest figures published by HEFCE.

The Higher Education – Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey, released last week, reveals that the total value of interactions between universities and business has grown from £3.4 billion in 2011-12 to £3.6 billion in 2012-13 – an increase of five per cent. In addition, the value of collaborative research has grown by over nine per cent.

Welcoming the figures, Sarah Jackson, Director of the N8 Research Partnership, said:

“Joining up the talent and expertise of world class academics with industry-led R&D is how innovation comes about, which in turn can create growth and new jobs, and these latest figures underline the crucial role that our universities are playing in driving economic growth.

“The most successful collaborations are those where all partners work together to develop knowledge, increase the impact of research and create new technologies. Through programmes such as the N8 Industry Innovation Forum, we are leading the way in creating new conversations and new collaborations in some of the biggest challenge areas facing society.”

Set up in response to industry feedback, the N8 Industry Innovation Forum (N8 IIF) connects industry with academics in the N8 universities, effectively providing a single entry point to the power of eight world class universities. It operates as an open innovation network, enabling new connections between academic and industry experts. As a result, new ideas and ground-breaking technologies are actively being developed – since it was launched in 2012, the N8IIF has played a role in the creation of almost 30 new innovative research partnerships.

Later this month, Sir Alan Langlands, Chair of the N8 Board of Directors and Vice Chancellor at the University of Leeds, will talk about the innovation landscape and how universities are shaping this through collaborating with industry. The event is one of a number taking place as part of the International Festival of Business, happening throughout June and July at locations across Liverpool. For more information click here.

View the HE-BCI data on the HEFCE website here.

Read more about the N8 Industry Innovation Forum here.