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Key facts

UK was sixth for university-business collaboration in 2016-17

5.3% increase in income from collaborative research

The UK was ranked sixth for university-business collaboration on research and development by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index 2016-17. This is behind only Switzerland, Finland, Israel, the USA and the Netherlands, but ahead of Germany (8th), Japan (18th), Canada (23rd), France (32nd) and Australia (33rd).

English HEIs increased their income from business and community sources to more than £3.5 billion in 2015-16, an increase of 2.2 per cent in real terms compared with the previous year.

This was driven in large part by increases in income from collaborative research and contract research, which are the knowledge exchange activities that generate most income. Income from collaborative research grew by 5.3 per cent in real terms in 2015-16, while income from contract research grew by 3.3 per cent.

There were also large proportionate increases in the income generated from intellectual property and facilities and equipment, although overall these continue to generate relatively small amounts of income for the sector.

There was a sharp decrease of 6.6 per cent in income from continuing professional development and continuing education courses in 2015-16 compared with the previous year. 

Page last updated 23 June 2017