Collaboration involving Leicester to drive business growth

Posted by ap507 at Apr 18, 2018 12:44 PM |
£5m investment from government in Midlands Innovation group of universities to deliver dedicated support to access their rich IP (Intellectual Property)

 Issued by the University of Leicester on 18 April 2018

The University of Leicester is part of a consortium to accelerate the development and commercialisation of innovative research within the Midlands.  

The Midlands innovation Commercialisation of Research Accelerator (MICRA) brings together the strengths of the eight Midlands Innovation universities - Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick.  MICRA will provide a single gateway to the collective knowledge exchange and intellectual property (IP) resources of the universities to enable collaboration with industry and other organisations. This will accelerate the development, commercialisation and impact of university research to drive economic growth and job creation across the Midlands region

The Midlands Innovation universities generate more new inventions and patents per unit of research income than any other leading group of UK universities.  The MICRA programme is awarded £5million through Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund (CCF) to drive forward world-class university commercialisation across the country.

The MICRA programme will provide essential dedicated support to enable organisations to more easily identify and utilise the rich IP assets within the eight universities to facilitate more innovation,   enterprise development, leverage investment through investor relationships; to help entrepreneurs drive their ideas forward, meet a wider community of like-minded people and find the most appropriate, targeted incubation support within the partnership.  The eight universities collectively have world leading R&D resources across several sectors (e.g. Space, Life Sciences, automotive, energy), science parks and incubators, and strong industry links, and the Midlands Innovation partnership is well positioned to strengthen and expand the social and economic fabric of the Midlands. 

This is the second project involving Leicester that has been announced under Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund.  Leicester is also the University lead in an initiative to enhance research and innovation in the UK space industry.

The Universities of Leicester, Southampton, Surrey, Edinburgh and the Open University, which together form part of the Space Research and Innovation Network for Technology (SPRINT), have received £4.8M Connecting Capability Fund (CCF) grant in order to support small and medium-sized businesses to work with the five Higher Education institutions. SPRINT project provides unprecedented access to university expertise and facilities.

Research England’s funding of SPRINT will act as a catalyst to transform the ways that universities and broader partners collaborate, working to boost economic growth, jobs and prosperity throughout the UK by delivering market-led solutions to the space and space enabled economy.

For the University of Leicester, SPRINT aligns strongly with its Higher Education Industry Funding (HEIF) strategy and its flagship Research Institute, the Leicester Institute for Space and Earth Observation (LISEO), and pioneering work which will take place at Space Park Leicester.

Professor Iain Gillespie, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Leicester, said:

“It is hugely impressive that Leicester is involved in two multi-million pound projects funded by Research England that will drive innovation, business success and economic growth.

“The CCF investment into the Midlands through MICRA provides an exciting opportunity for the University of Leicester and the Midlands universities to work together and optimise the R&D and innovation potential of our region and to help grow the UK economy.

“At Leicester our commitment to driving regional growth through the strength of our research and enterprise activities is exemplified through the investment in the Innovation Hub on campus, the SPRINT project, a collaboration between 5 UK universities, led by Leicester, to deliver innovations in partnership with industry using space and earth observation R&D expertise,  and the development of our Science Parks with Space Park Leicester, Leicester Life Sciences Accelerator and initiatives at the MIRA Technology Park.. 

“When linked with the regional and national networks through initiatives like MICRA and SPRINT we are able to provide the foundations for the development and growth of new industries, skills and jobs for the Midlands and provide greater opportunities to retain our highly skilled graduates within the region.”

Nick Pulley, LLEP Chair said:

“I am delighted that Midlands Innovation, a fantastic partnership of eight world-class universities, two of which are in the Leicester and Leicestershire area, has been recognised for its leading, innovative R&D and has received £5m of Government funding through the MICRA project.  This is great news for the Midlands region and our companies to access the universities Intellectual Property (IP) and benefit from their research expertise.  I am sure this investment will generate more partnership between organisations and universities and help develop the economy. ”  

The new funding will enable the collaborating universities to work in partnership with their Local Enterprise Partnerships to align with and deliver the Industrial Strategy and Local Industrial Strategy ambitions by providing further impetus and tangible benefits for businesses.  

  • You can access the Research England announcement here
  • Midlands Innovation announcement on MICRA here
  • SPRINT funding announcement here

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