IRSA project celebrates 10 MPhil industrial facing studentships – and still growing

Posted by pt91 at Jun 20, 2014 09:46 AM |
Celebration event highlights first successful year for business project

Today (20 June) the Innovation through the Research Support Accelerator (IRSA) will celebrate its first year of extended collaboration projects with a postgraduate festival at the Belmont Hotel for IRSA graduates to present their work to a mixed audience of academics, graduates and collaborating companies.

IRSA was conceived to help accelerate the development and exploitation of new products, services, technologies, processes and markets for SMEs in the East Midlands by collaborating on R&D projects with the University of Leicester in a practical way.

Professor Paul Monks, IRSA Director, explained: "In a way, we were looking for a method to solve a conundrum about engaging academics in enterprise while at the same time delivering what companies need in terms of R&D. The triplex of company, academic and graduate assistant is a strong one.

"The idea of this form of knowledge transfer partnership might not be new, but there is little doubt that in this form and focussed using the University of Leicester’s capabilities matched to substantial demand from the East Midlands SMEs there is a success story developing. The event provides a showcase for the wonderful graduate students to present the hard work that both makes the partnerships work and represents the range of East Midland SMEs engaged. It is particularly pleasing that the range of support the university has been able to offer covers all areas of the academic enterprise."

There is clear evidence in the work to be presented that university R&D can accelerate the development of East Midlands companies that in the longer term will lead to jobs and growth. IRSA has a little over a year to run in its current form and has 6 further extended projects waiting to start in July this year, and hopes the partnerships formed as part of this process will last substantially longer.

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