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Experimental Third Stream Strategic Development Fund Projects - Study B


HEFCE aims to support 'third stream' activities which enhance the contribution made by the higher education knowledge base to economic development and the strength and vitality of society. To inform the further development of our policies and funding in this area we commissioned Quotec Ltd together with SPRU at University of Sussex to undertake three studies:

  1. Global Innovation Environments
  2. Experimental Third Stream Strategic Development Fund Projects
  3. Higher Education Innovation Fund Impact Survey.

Study B, entitled Experimental Third Stream Strategic Development Fund Projects, analyses six projects in which higher education institutions (HEIs) are receiving funding under the Strategic Development Fund.

Most of the projects were funded in 2006 under our 'Third Stream as Second Mission' initiative. This initiative explores the potential contribution to be made by some HEIs to competitiveness and productivity as they move towards making the third stream their second mission focus (after teaching).

The projects focus on HEIs' activities to stimulate demand for HE knowledge services from new users and to enhance their capacity to improve the productivity and growth of local and regional small and medium-sized enterprises.

In April 2007 we published an initial report, based on an analysis of the business plans for the projects. This report is based on an interim evaluation of the projects undertaken in autumn 2007. It will be followed by a final evaluation of the projects in summer 2009.