- Published: Thursday, 26 July 2018 14:05
- Written by National Centre for Universities and Business
The UK has a strong reputation for global innovation excellence, being 2nd in the world for research, 6th for industry-university collaboration and 7th for knowledge exchange.
This section showcases this reputation at its best, and makes evident the goals that can be achieved, and the obstacles overcome, when universities and businesses truly collaborate. There is reduction of food waste for SMEs in Scotland, robotics changing the face of space exploration, Virtual Reality in the mining industry, and new medicines to fight cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. We’re seeing truly open innovation from GSK, the championing of entrepreneurship from Cisco and UCL, and local, meaningful growth from universities across Wales.
Innovation based on collaboration will always involve a degree of knowledge exchange, and participants are required to put excellence ahead of their own goals. In a world where a significant proportion of the public fail to understand what universities do, shining a light on this, the ‘third leg of the HE stool’, is crucial. As we develop the Knowledge Exchange Framework, it is imperative that this section showcase the diversity of knowledge exchange taking place in university-business collaboration, and highlight the wealth of both outputs and outcomes which ensue.
The benefits for both universities and business are evident, both financial and reputational, but it is the benefits for the UK as whole which are outstanding. As seen in the Collaboration Progress Monitor at the beginning of this report, the quantity of interactions between universities and business has increased, but in general terms the value has contracted. The outcomes of these interactions are substantial, and this year we have recorded increases in the number of licenses issued to businesses; a growth in income from licensing activity; an increase in the granting of patents; and a great number of spin-off companies surviving the initial 3 years. We look forward to the impact of efforts to raise R&D investment to 2.4% GDP by 2027, bringing us closer to our OECD competitors.
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