Press Releases

University shortlisted for top award – University of Reading

Release Date : 30 October 2007

The University of Reading is one of five universities shortlisted for a prestigious £500,000 award from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The EPSRC – the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences – will decide next month who has won its annual Knowledge Transfer Challenge, which aims to reward and celebrate innovative approaches to supporting knowledge transfer in universities.

Reading has been shortlisted after identifying three ways to facilitate and enhance knowledge transfer – one-day workshops which focus on the University's core research areas, funding for short-term collaborative projects of up to six months to test out the feasibility of innovative projects, and training sessions on how to work with business with places being won on the basis of an enterprise idea and contestants facing a Dragon's Den-style contest for £10,000 of funding.

Professor Carl Stychin, the University's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise said: "This is an outstanding achievement for the University and a great endorsement for our enterprise strategy. We have the most successful Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme in the country and the EPSRC's decision validates our efforts. All those involved in the bid are to be congratulated on this tremendous outcome."

The aim of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships across Britain is to assist with the transfer of knowledge from universities and higher education institutes, primarily to the UK's small and medium business base. It does this by supplying a grant which allows companies to employ a recent graduate for a period normally of between two and three years.

The winner of the Knowledge Transfer Challenge will be announced on November 19. The universities of Nottingham, Sheffield, Surrey, and Aston have also been shortlisted. The winning university will receive a £500,000 award and a £60,000 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) studentship. The runners up will receive £100,000 each.

Kate Darby, Head of Knowledge Transfer and manager of the University of Reading's Knowledge Transfer Centre, said: "This is an exciting development and will allow us to engage students and academics with untapped potential, as well as some of the local businesses which are yet to experience the benefits of working with the University."

Each university must clearly demonstrate what they will use the money for, while also making the case for market demand and making sure academics would engage with the programme.

Businesses of all sizes in most industries and commercial sectors can take part in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, and take advantage of the expertise of academics and researchers in a higher education institution or research based organisation and the knowledge and skills of a graduate working on a project central to the needs of the company.

The University of Reading Knowledge Transfer Centre is one of the most successful in the country, with more than 35 projects currently in operation. It has a vast wealth of experience behind it, and has been running since 1994, overseeing more than 100 successful programmes.


For more information please contact Lucy Ferguson, Media Relations Manager, University of Reading, on 0118 378 7388, or Jane Reck, Press Officer, EPSRC, on 01793 444312.

More about the University of Reading

The University of Reading is one of the foremost research-led universities in the UK. Founded in the nineteenth century and gaining a Royal Charter in 1926, we offer a wide range of programmes from the pure and applied sciences to languages, social sciences and fine art. New research and the latest thinking continually feed into undergraduate teaching, with our academic staff working at the forefront of their fields of expertise. Its origins lie in the Schools of Art and Science established in Reading in 1860 and 1870. These became part of an extension college opened in 1892 by Christ Church, Oxford. The college thrived, receiving its first treasury grant in 1901. Three years later the local Palmer family, of the famous biscuit manufacturer Huntley & Palmers, donated its London Road site. Their continued support helped to fund expansion, including the opening of Wantage Hall in 1908 and The Research Institute in Dairying in 1912. The University of Reading received a Royal Charter in 1926. Important achievements include:

• being the first British university to integrate an industrial Research and Development Group on its campus (1972)

• being the first university to win the Queen's Award for Export Achievement (1989)

• twice receiving the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education (1998 and 2006).

• Established as a leading force in British higher education, we continue to build on our success. Our ambitious multi-million pound investment programme is delivering twenty-first century facilities, strengthening our international reputation for quality teaching, research and enterprise.

More about the EPSRC

The EPSRC IS main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing around £740 million a year in a broad range of subjects – from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering. It operates to meet the needs of industry and society by working in partnership with universities to invest in people and scientific discovery and innovation. The knowledge and expertise gained maintains a technological leading edge, builds a strong economy and improves people's quality of life. Its work is complementary to other research investors including other research councils, government agencies, industry and the European Union. It actively engages in and encourages partnerships and collaborations across disciplines, boundaries and the world, and actively promotes public engagement in science, engineering and technology.

More about CASE

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the professional organization for advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, and development. CASE's membership includes more than 3,300 colleges, universities, and independent elementary and secondary schools in 54 countries around the world. This makes CASE one of the largest nonprofit education associations in terms of institutional membership. We serve more than 47,000 advancement professionals on the staffs of our member institutions and have more than 22,300 professional members on our roster. CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession, and foster public support of education. CASE also offers a variety of advancement products and services, provides standards and an ethical framework for the profession, and works with other organizations to respond to public issues of concern, while promoting the importance of education worldwide.


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