Steve Currall addresses Parliamentary Committee on Innovation

15 January 2008

Professor Steve Currall

Professor Steve Currall, Head of UCL Management Science & Innovation (MSI), last week delivered a presentation to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Innovation, Universities & Skills in Westminster.

In his talk, he discussed the role of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates in developing economic prosperity in the UK. He argued for the development of education programmes for STEM students to develop entrepreneurial and business leadership skills that can be brought to bear in the companies they work for after graduation.

University spin-off companies, he noted, create large numbers of highly paid, high-quality jobs and contribute to national competitiveness. He said: “STEM graduates can be sparkplugs for economic prosperity because of the multiplier effect they can have on job creation via the high-growth companies that they may launch.”

For these reasons, Professor Currall urged the committee and the UK government to seek to develop ways to make it easier for philanthropists to contribute to UK universities’ entrepreneurship and STEM development activities.

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Management Science at UCL
Professor Currall’s department, UCL Management Science & Innovation, operates courses designed to develop entrepreneurial and business leadership skills in UCL students.

A joint initiative with the London Business School allows about 80 technical doctoral students at UCL to take MBA elective courses at London Business School. In addition, UCL MSI has this year launched a new BSc in Information Management for Business, which is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council of England but managed by e-Skills, an industry consortium in ICT with corporate members including BT, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. The programme allows employers to have input into the curriculum and ensure that the skills of the graduates are aligned with the needs of business.