The University of York is one of the beneficiaries of a £60m investment in UK universities announced today by Business Secretary Vince Cable.
The £630,000 allocated to the University will help its pioneering scientists and engineers create successful businesses from their research, improve industrial collaboration, and foster greater entrepreneurship.
Mr Cable announced the investment in a total of 31 universities during Global Entrepreneurship Week. The funding known as Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAA) comes from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), one of the UK’s main funding agencies for scientific research.
At York, the money will be used to support the University’s ‘pipeline’ of Intellectual Property through to commercial reality, to fund projects in EPSRC-funded departments, and to broaden the engagement between scientists and business.
The Business Secretary said:
The UK’s scientists are some of the most innovative and creative people in the world, but they need support to take their best ideas through to market. This investment I’m announcing today will help our leading universities become centres of innovation and entrepreneurship, generating commercial success to fuel growth.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at York, Professor John Local, said:
We welcome the award of the Impact Accelerator Account which we shall use to increase the successful commercialisation of EPSRC-funded research. It will ease the transition from initial idea to commercial reality at a time when access to external sources of funding is increasingly challenging.
The IAA will also help us to broaden the scope of business engagement with EPSRC-relevant academic departments. We also want to support opportunities for researcher mobility across the academic-business divide.
The funding will support the very early stage of turning research outputs into a commercial proposition – the ‘Valley of Death’ between a research idea and developing it to a stage where a company or venture capitalist might be interested.
EPSRC chief executive Professor Dave Delpy said:
The research we support is recognised as outstanding on the international stage. These awards aim to make a step change in the impact that has on society: generating new business opportunities which drive economic growth, creating better, more informed, public policy.
The investment will help companies to engage with research projects at an earlier stage and benefit from research breakthroughs and the fundamental knowledge they generate. The funding will be used to support partnerships with SMEs and larger companies and take some of the risk out of their investment.