A group of London's universities are launching a new collaboration – OpenSME – that seeks to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access the expertise and knowledge they offer.
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable launches Impact Acceleration Accounts at UCL spin out Space Syntax
15 November 2012
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable has today announced the launch of Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs), of which UCL is the second largest recipient, at a value of nearly £4.5 million.
The grant, part of a total of £60m being announced by the Business Secretary which will be shared amongst 31 universities across the UK, is being distributed through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The Accounts have been established make it easier for university research to be applied in the real world, benefiting society at large and helping to also boost the economy. The funding will be used to enable businesses and other research users engage with research projects at an earlier stage than currently, to support partnerships with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and larger companies, and also enable more research staff to be seconded to businesses.
“The research we support is recognised as outstanding on the international stage,” said the Chief Executive of the EPSRC Dave Delpy. “These Accounts aim to make a step change in the impact that has on society.”
At UCL funds will go towards supporting projects which will enable greater collaboration between researchers and industry and encourage a culture of entrepreneurship.
The grant will also go towards moves by UCL to better support East London digital enterprise hub Tech City, through developing UCL DECIDE. The service aims to enable innovative digital startups to test their new products and services, gain customer feedback and ensure its technical feasibility, by offering access to UCL as the world’s largest “living-lab” for digital and media content
Enabling greater research impact by communicating with policy makers is also the objective of several projects being supported by the grant to UCL, including transport studies and in clarifying the practical implications of research into green energy and decarbonisation funded by UK research councils.
“Enabling closer working with business in general, and specifically enabling the commercialisation of research emanating from our staff, is a key priority for UCL,” said Professor Stephen Caddick, Vice-Provost for Enterprise.
“We have had strong successes in this area, especially in the sphere of life and medical sciences. These additional funds will enable us to broaden the range of enterprise activity we support, in particular in tech, data and media. Our support for Tech City, for example, will provide a link between start-ups and world class research, which is essential for any modern cluster.
“We have a long standing commitment to ensuring that UCL's research is used to shape policy, and the IAA fund we’ve received will further strengthen that aspect of our enterprise activities,” he added.
More information about dissemination of funds and applying for grants can be found here.