UCL shares in £50m of new funding to help stimulate UK’s economy

15 May 2013

A lab bench filled with instruments and bottles

UCL has been awarded a share of a government investment of £50m into UK’s leading universities to drive growth, the Minister for Universities and Science has announced.

UCL is leading one of sixteen schemes around the country which will benefit from the investment, which has been allocated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund. The aim is to strengthen links between higher education institutions and business and, through doing so, support the UK’s economic recovery.

The award will enable UCL to work with the University of Cambridge at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst and to enhance and develop further links with, and research capacity for, the Cell Therapy and High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centres and therefore support a wide variety of commercial organisations. The collaboration is directly supported by the National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals' Biomedical Research Centre, and will be further expanded through UCLPartners.

One of the central aims of the project will be to establish a range of collaborative training programmes to develop the next generation of entrepreneurial researchers, particularly in drug discovery.

“Universities and colleges are vital to the UK’s economy. This extra £50 million will harness the potential for growth across the regions, focus on our world-class industrial sectors, and create a skilled workforce for the future,” said Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts. “It will support cutting-edge innovation and research projects and keep us ahead in the global race.”

Including the collaboration between UCL, Cambridge and their partners, between them the projects are expected to contribute to the creation of more than 500 new companies, 1,200 products and 3,000 jobs, adding more than £3 billion to the UK’s economy.

“UCL has been working closely with other institutions for some time to speed up the process of taking medical innovations produced by university research from lab bench to bedside,” said Professor Stephen Caddick, Vice-Provost for Enterprise at UCL. “We are delighted that our leading position has been recognised by this new funding and that, through our project in Stevenage, we will contribute to growing the British economy and creating jobs.”

Professor Bryan Williams, Director of NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, added:

“This is an outstanding example of how we can leverage the world class science at UCL and the outstanding research capabilities within the NHS and the NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre to deliver new treatments to our patients.”

Picture: Oliver Jeffrey/IITA.

Links

NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre

UCLPartners

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst