21 Dec 2017   |   Network News

Universities launch shared plans for technology transfer

Midlands Innovation, a group of eight universities including the University of Birmingham, has launched its plan for collaboration in technology transfer. The announcement was made at an event held at The Shard, London.

Dr David Brown, Non-Executive Director, University of Birmingham Enterprise and Dr Matt Hicks, Linear Diagnostics, left, at the launch

Midlands Innovation is one of the UK’s most influential academic collaborations. It is a pioneering partnership which seeks to amplify the economic development of the Midlands through uniting universities and industry to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development.

Partners include the universities of Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. Collectively, their academics generate more new inventions and patents per unit of research income than any other leading groups of UK universities.

The event – which had speakers including Sir John Peace, Chairman of Midlands Engine and Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia Technologies PLC – outlined that to make these inventions easily available to investors and businesses, the universities’ technology transfer units have come together to provide a single point of access to intellectual property assets. This makes it easy for investors to access opportunities and enhances support available for growing businesses.

Helen Turner, Director of Midlands Innovation, said: “Midlands Innovation is looking for large ‘patient capital’ investors. People who are willing to back new ideas in the Midlands for the long term. People with vision and management talent who understand the potential for success in our region. People who will work with our great universities to create new value for the UK economy.”

Dr James Wilkie, CEO of University of Birmingham Enterprise, said: “The eight Midlands Innovation universities have an excellent track record for innovation. Combined, they produce more inventions and file more patents per £100m research income than any other similar group of UK universities. This innovation feeds through to commercial enterprise, and the growth of new businesses and jobs in the region.”

Within easy reach of London, the Midlands is essential to national economic success. The region is responsible for over a fifth of the UK’s total manufacturing capability. The services sector in the Midlands accounts for over four million jobs, and is worth around £158 billion a year. The Government wants the Midlands to become a growth engine for the whole UK.

Midlands Innovation unites the power of university research with the unique strengths of Midlands industry to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development and economic growth. Collectively partners are incubating more than 500 businesses and helping many more to innovate.

The partnership is working together to build up the innovation environment in the Midlands to the point that it will attract a large (£300m) ‘Patient’ investment fund, driving new growth businesses and new high value jobs in the UK economy. Just as for other innovation places in the UK, the Midlands needs ‘Patient’ investment capital to achieve its economic growth goals.

To find out more about how you can get involved visit the Midlands Innovation website

This release was first published 20 December 2017 by the University of Birmingham

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