MI Partners amongst top universities for growth and commercialisation

MI partners are amongst the country's best universities for their work supporting businesses and commercialisation

A national assessment of how universities contribute to regional economies and communities highlights the strength of universities in the Midlands Innovation partnership in helping to promote economic growth through they work they do to support existing businesses to grow, and also in the creation of new ‘spin-out’ businesses, products and services that are generated through academic research.

The second national Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) published (September 2022) by Research England evaluates the contributions English higher education providers make to communities, both economically and socially, at both a local and a national level.

More than 100 universities have provided detailed information of how they work with businesses, promote economic growth in their local area and how they build public and community engagement.

The KEF results reveal that universities in the Midlands are amongst the country’s top universities for the work they undertake with businesses, for the intellectual property (IP) they generate and the commercialisation of research.

All eight MI partner institutions, the universities of Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, KeeleLeicesterLoughborough, Nottingham and Warwick are rated in the top two categories of universities that are performing to a ‘very high and ‘high’ standard for the work with business, and seven in the ‘very high’ or ‘high’ categories for IP and commercialisation.

This news coincides with a prestigious national award being given to the University of Birmingham and Rolls Royce for their collaborative work which dates back to 1989. The Bhattacharyya Award, awarded by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the University of Warwick, recognises industry-academia collaboration and is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Read more here.

Beauhurst, which tracks the UK’s high-growth companies and is utilised by some of the UK’s biggest investment banks, has recently reported on the spin-out successes of West Midlands based MI partner institutions in their latest Warwickshire Innovation report. Read more here. Similarly, Beauhurst has also produced a report on Nottinghamshire which highlights that MI partner, the University of Nottingham, plays a significant role in the high-growth business eco-system in the county. Read more here. Last year, Beauhurst highlighted in a special report the vital role of Midlands Innovation universities in supporting the region’s innovation eco-system. Read the full Midlands wide report here.

Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor at Keele University and Chair of Midlands Innovation, has been at the forefront of enhancing knowledge exchange across the country, in his national role as Knowledge Exchange Champion for Research England. Professor McMillan said: “The 2022 Knowledge Exchange rankings show that Midlands Innovation partners are in strong position to support the country’s drive for high-growth through the critical role they undertake working with businesses and to produce the next generation of entrepreneurs through IP and commercialisation  of research.

“The Knowledge Exchange Framework is designed to provide an evaluation that helps universities and their partners play to each other’s strengths and to work together to have productive outcomes for the economy and society more broadly. I am delighted that it highlights the strength across MI partner institutions.”

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