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Posted on: 06/11/2017

Highlights from three useful governmental announcements on UK research and innovation.

1. Science Minister announces non-executive Board members of UK Research and Innovation

The 12 non-executive members of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Board were announced on September 28th 2017 by the Science Minister, Jo Johnson. Over the coming months the Board will work with the UKRI Chair, Chief Executive and the executive team to ensure the successful formation and launch of UKRI, as well as the strategic direction of the organisation. This will include advising the Secretary of State on the allocation of research and innovation budgets, including the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Click here for more information.


2. Universities and Science Minister calls on universities to do more to commercialise UK research and innovation

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson has outlined his vision to secure the UK’s status as a pioneering nation and called for universities to secure more return from the research conducted by institutions across the UK.

Speaking at the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) annual conference, Jo Johnson reinforced the importance of science and innovation in the Industrial Strategy and urged universities to deepen collaborative relationships with businesses to ensure the UK’s innovative strength has real-world and economic impact. The Minister outlined:

  • new proposals to develop a Knowledge Exchange Framework to compare how effective universities are at business engagement and knowledge exchange
  • the first successful projects from the ¬£100m Connecting Capability Fund
  • the successful regions selected for the third wave of the Science and Innovation Audits.

Click here for more information.


3. People – not products – are the secret to scaling up businesses

An independent study shows investors and businesses fail to see eye-to-eye on what drives innovative companies to attract private investment and scale up. The report highlights:

  • A mismatch between businesses and investors
  • A strong management vital to success
  • Other factors considered to be deal breakers
  • International expansion and growth
  • Connecting innovators with investment
  • The need to further inform and engage sectors

Innovate UK will use the results of this research to inform and improve its work on follow-on investment and the formulation of innovation loans, which are due to launch during November 2017. Dr Ruth McKernan CBE, CEO of Innovate UK says: “Attracting investment is often a challenge for innovative businesses and the brilliant people at their heart. At Innovate UK we are increasing our focus on connecting innovators with both government grant funding and venture capital investment, to turbo-charge their journeys to success and the UK‚Äôs economic growth.”

Click here for more information.


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