Press Releases

University secures £2.4M funding to develop industry links – University of Reading

Release Date : 15 June 2004

The University of Reading has been awarded almost £2.4 million to increase its innovative interaction activities with business and the community in the second round of funding from the Government's Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF2). Reading received the maximum available funding to any one institution as part of the £185 million Government investment for 2004 to 2006 that is made to help English universities and colleges carry out a range of knowledge transfer-related projects. Vice-Chancellor Professor Gordon Marshall CBE said: "This successful funding bid shows the culture of the University has made significant moves forward in recent years, and we are proud that the strength of our commitment to enterprise activities has been recognised. "The University will be able to play a full role in the development of the knowledge economy regionally, nationally and internationally. Moreover, we can further encourage the commercial relationships that will benefit the University, its staff and students." The award will prove to be a driving force for increased knowledge transfer in three main areas: by developing the University's current enterprise activities; by undertaking completely new activities; and by establishing collaborative partnerships with other Higher Education Institutions. The proposals include: 1. Developing current activities The University has already had considerable enterprise success. It will be able to continue developing the necessary infrastructure and capability to transfer knowledge into business and the community and to respond effectively to industry demands. For example, more investment will be put into the Reading Enterprise Hub which provides business space to entrepreneurs, and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme will continue to expand. 2. Undertaking new activities In partnership with the Royal Mail, the University proposes to create an Innovation Lab for academics, entrepreneurs and others in need of a radical and visually stimulating thinking space. In addition, Enterprise Fellowships will be created to support academics in developing business ideas at a very early stage. 3. Collaborative partnerships Oxford Brookes University is keen to access knowledge from Reading's KTP Centre, one of the most successful in the country. Reading is also taking part in the National Rural Knowledge Exchange, which is led by Harper Adams University College and allows Reading to contribute to increasing productivity in the rural and environmental sectors. End Notes for editors -The HEIF2 awards are sponsored by the DTI, DfES and HEFCE. The Government has consolidated HEIF as a permanent third stream of funding for universities in England, alongside the funding they receive for (1) teaching and (2) research, to promote knowledge transfer. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own separate arrangements for supporting knowledge transfer. The new consolidated HEIF, which is administered by HEFCE will incorporate funding for activities previously supported through the University Challenge fund (UC) and the Science Enterprise Challenge fund (SEC) formerly administered by the Office of Science and Technology. Funding for centres for knowledge exchange activity was announced in the Government's White Paper "The future of higher education". -The University of Reading is a globally renowned research and teaching institution with around 15,000 students and 4,000 staff. It is one of the top 20 research universities in the UK. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 15 departments were awarded an RAE rating of 5, and five departments were designated 5*. The University consistently achieves well in the National Quality Assurance Agency teaching standards assessments, with many departments scoring 23 or 24 points, out of the 24. For more information, please contact Craig Hillsley, the University's press officer on 0118 378 7388 or email


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