7 April, 2009
The University of Manchester has been awarded £8.3 million by a leading research council, as part of a national drive to transfer research findings from the laboratory to industry.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded Knowledge Transfer Accounts (KTA) – totalling £44million – to 12 universities across the UK.
These awards will enable universities to enhance relationships with industrial partners, to fund research exploitation and, ultimately, to strengthen business and economic growth in the UK.
The £8.3million grant made by the EPSRC to the University of Manchester is the biggest grant made to an institution as part of the KTA programme 2009.
It will be used to fund a number of schemes designed to make ‘knowledge transfer’ easier, including the secondment of staff between the University and industry.
And Miranda McCormick, the University’s Knowledge Transfer Manager, says it reflects the University’s research quality in Engineering and Physical Sciences and success in building relationships with industry.
“Manchester has a large portfolio of world-class research and it has a tradition of high quality research across the whole breadth of engineering and physical sciences,” said Miss McCormick. “We also have a solid experience of exploiting that research.
“This grant from the EPSRC reflects our track record in working with industry and other partners and the quality of our plans to build on that success and move forward.
“We want to overcome any remaining barriers that exist. And by the end of the KTA in 2012 we want the relationships between the University and our partners – whether in business, the NHS, or other public sectors – to be even stronger.”
Rod Coombs, the University’s Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development says the award will enable researchers from the full range of engineering and physical sciences disciplines to maximise their involvement in knowledge transfer.
“At the University, the grant will be focused on enabling all our researchers to respond to major global challenges such as healthcare, energy and security, as well as exploiting research in major areas including advanced materials, advanced engineering, and the digital economy, to the benefit of many sectors of the UK economy,” said Professor Coombs.
“Knowledge transfer and the exploitation of research in Manchester is seen as integral to the development of our world-class research base, and the University welcomes the opportunity provided by the EPSRC to enhance our activities in this area.”
In addition to the two-way secondments between the university and research users, horizon-scanning events will bring together researchers and potential users from across a range of sectors to explore exploitation possibilities.
Small funds will be made available for market research and prototype development. And a group of staff will be funded to work on shorter-term industrial problems that may be solved by the application of research.
Source: Manchester University