University receives funds to improve links with local businesses

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Lancaster University has received a £35,000 funding to encourage further interaction between the University and local businesses. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are being encouraged to utilise the funds in cooperation with a University researcher, in order to develop technologies, products and services. As such, the funding will bridge the gap between the University research and the industry.

The financial provision came form the Impact Acceleration Account (IAA). This project, originally financed with £600,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), has already allocated approximately £250, 000 since its introduction in October 2012.

(SMEs) that are interested in collaborating with the University can use the money for a variety of different purposes, such as developing products and technologies, and funding for lab equipment, otherwise maybe inaccessible. Another purpose of the project is seed funding, which involves using money in order to develop a new idea. Applications are open for businesses from numerous industries, such as advanced manufacturing, energy, chemistry, security, environment, information and communication technology and quantum technologies.

 

Dr Mark Rushforth, Head of Business Partnerships and Enterprise for Physical Sciences at Lancaster University, said, “I’ve been impressed with the scope of the projects we have been able to fund through the Impact Acceleration Account so far and I’m really excited to see what develops in the future.”

In an independent review of university-business cooperation, Sir Andrew Witty highlights Lancaster’s national strength in key clusters of competitiveness in nuclear and energy, agri-tech and science, and oil and gas.

The report also identifies Lancaster as a top ten university in terms of the number of interactions with SMEs. Lancaster has worked with over 5,000 SMEs since 1999. It has also helped the creation of over 250 new business and more than 4,000 new jobs

“The fund is a great way for SMEs to be able to explore product development and I would encourage businesses to get in touch to see how the funding can benefit them,” added Rushforth.

IAA is fixed to operate until October 2015. So far, Lancaster University is one of the few universities to be allocated funds by the EPSRC.

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