Boost for enterprise with £5m universities' initiative

Leeds is one of three universities partnering in a £5 million programme to help get academic research into business.


The University and its partner institutions - Manchester and Sheffield - will jointly establish the Northern Triangle Initiative or NTI, which will help take novel research to market and develop ideas based on innovations in areas such as advanced materials, medical technologies and computer science.

NTI aims to raise a further £350 million in private finance to support university commercialisation, and to strengthen entrepreneurial activity in the North of England.

Leeds already has a strong track-record in commercialising its research.  We have created over 110 spin-out companies since 1995, six of which are listed on the financial markets, and which currently employ over 800 people.

The new funding, which has been awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), is intended to accelerate closer links between universities and industry.

Professor Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation said: “This is a great opportunity to build on our formidable reputation in commercialisation.

“The Universities of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield are three research powerhouses in the North, and by working together we will have significant impact on the commercialisation of our research.”  

This new award from HEFCE fits well with other strategic initiatives within the University, including the new Nexus centre, that will help generate even more economic impact from our research and support innovation and growth.  Nexus will offer a range of spaces for networking, providing meeting rooms, presentation space, offices and laboratories and is due to open in 2018.

Leeds' current company portfolio includes regional flagship companies, such as Tissue Regenix, Tracsis, Xeros, Avacta, and Getech. We currently have more than 200 active commercialisation projects.

Forging closer links between universities and industry was a priority set out in the Government’s Industrial Strategy green paper.  It is allocating £20 million in total to English universities to pump-prime closer links with industry.

Jo Johnson, the Universities and Science Minister, said: “Universities have a vital role to play in their local communities and in the national economy. Given the record levels of public investment in R&D, it is essential that universities engage with businesses and communities to make the most of their knowledge and research.”

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