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Universities and businesses unite - 16-02-2005
Government investment in higher education institutions' (HEIs) knowledge transfer activities is helping boost the UK economy, according to new figures.

The Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction Survey 2002-03 shows that there has been a step-change in the way UK universities and HE colleges transfer knowledge in engaging with business, the public sector and the wider community, with significant increases in consultancy income and expenditure by companies on research.

The level and quality of interaction between universities and business have generally increased, with 89 per cent of HEIs now offering a single enquiry point for business and 79 per cent helping SMEs identify what resource they need.

Turning ideas into business is also on the increase with the number of patents granted to HEIs up substantially and new applications up by 26 per cent. There has also been an increase in the level of employment created as a direct result of university spin-out companies.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • Income generated by consultancy up by 38 per cent to 168m

  • Regeneration funding to HEIs has increased by around 15 per cent

  • UK universities created one spin off firm for every 17 million of research expenditure, compared with every 60 million in the US.

  • commercial and non-commercial organisations spent nearly 130 million on education and continuing professional development supplied by the HE sector.

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