Russell Group response to Innovation Strategy

22 July 2021

In response to the Government’s Innovation Strategy announcement (22 July 2021), Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said:

"UK universities are already at the heart of numerous innovation success stories, from medical scanners and Covid treatments to advanced materials and ultra-realistic gaming software. Harnessing this innovation and enterprise will be vital to our recovery from the pandemic and to deliver on the Government’s net zero and levelling up agendas.

"Our world-leading universities consistently deliver huge value to the economy and society through the jobs and investment they bring right across the country -- not just with cutting-edge discoveries and early-stage investment in new ideas, but also in developing the pipeline of future high-skilled workers required to support innovation.

"In the Government's new strategy, we welcome the emphasis on innovation funds like Connecting Capabilities and Strength in Places, which help boost university-business collaboration and support innovative businesses across the UK to capitalise on emerging technologies in areas of national importance. Looking ahead to the CSR, scaling up these types of innovation schemes should be a priority. For example, the Higher Education Innovation Fund delivers around £10 for the economy for every £1 of public investment (1), so an extra £250m spent here could deliver £2.5bn worth of added value.

"We hope the Government will also take the opportunity to help unlock the potential of the UK’s regions by supporting existing and new regional innovation clusters with research-intensive universities at their heart, which have proven success in bringing high-skilled jobs and investment to all regions of the country."

Notes

(1) Details of the additional impacts of the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) can be found here.

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