£60 million for UK universities to encourage the commercialisation of research

Cranfield University has been named as one of thirty one UK institutions to share in a £60m fund to promote science-based business development.

The funding comes from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and will be structured as Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs). While the way in which these will be used in each selected university varies, the common aim is to help commercialise existing and future research.

Cranfield’s share in this new pot of funding amounts to just over £1m.

Cranfield’s IAA will support Impact Secondments where engineers and scientists from the university will placed on secondment with industrial partners, consolidating existing strategic links with these businesses.

Other Universities to receive funding include University College London, Queen’s University (Belfast) and the University of Southampton.

The national IAA investment was announced yesterday by Business Secretary Vince Cable, who said: “The UK’s scientists are some of the most innovative and creative people in the world but they need support to help their best ideas become viable commercial propositions.”

Dr Cable asserted that the investment will help leading universities become centres of innovation and entrepreneurship. The aim is to support them in generating commercial success which will fuel economic growth and encourage inward investment from science-based businesses.

Cranfield’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Clifford Friend said: “Through this funding the Government has recognised Cranfield as one of the UK’s key centres of innovation for sectors critical to our future economy.”

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