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The University of Salford's Energy House is at the centre of a hub for knowledge exchange in low-carbon industries.
These comprise part of a much wider economic impact (Note 1).
Analysis by HEFCE of the eleventh annual Higher Education – Business and Community Interaction survey shows that the total value of the services (Note 2) which UK universities provide to the economy and society increased by 7 per cent in 2010-11, from £3.1 billion in 2009-10 to £3.3 billion.
Despite wider economic uncertainty, spending on university services by large business increased by 7 per cent, from £587 million in 2009-10 to £629 million in 2010-11. Universities are stimulating economic growth and contributing to public services and society.
The report, published today, finds encouraging signs of the rising value of UK knowledge exchange (Note 3). This is illustrated by increases in income to universities from facilities and equipment – such as wind tunnels or digital media suites – where income grew by 12 per cent over the previous year, to £129 million in 2010-11.
Sir Alan Langlands, HEFCE Chief Executive, said:
Universities across the UK are working with businesses of all shapes and sizes to help generate innovative, high-value products and services.
‘In challenging economic times, the HE sector is doing all it can to drive growth – in everything from the commercialisation of new knowledge, delivery of professional training and research with business, through to income from their equipment and services.’
‘The sector is clearly delivering on the Government’s ambition for university knowledge exchange income from external sources to grow by 10 per cent over the next three years (note 5): intellectual property licensing income, for example, has increased in England by 3 per cent to £47.5 million. In one year we have already seen external income grow in England by 5 per cent.’
‘Higher education in this country is world leading. It is a great national asset, something we should all be proud of.’
David Willetts Minister for Universities and Science said:
‘Universities and industry working together are making a substantial contribution to the UK’s economic growth. The latest analysis shows that external income to the higher education sector from business and other users has continued to increase, despite the challenging economic environment, to over £3.3 billion.
‘Today’s increase in the number of new start-up companies by staff and recent graduates of higher education institutions also highlights the important role that universities have in creating a more entrepreneurial society.’
|Real-terms income from all sources (£M)|
|Facilities and equipment-related services||95||102||129|
|Continuing professional development and Continuing Education||352||534||606|
|Intellectual property (including sale of shares)||46||64||69|
|Outputs from UK HEIs||2003-04||2006-07||2010-11|
|Formal spin-offs established||167||226||268|
|Formal spin-offs still active after three years||688||844||999|
|% UK higher education institutions that provide:||2003-04||2006-07||2010-11|
|Short bespoke courses on client's premises||n/a||84%||84%|
|Distance learning for businesses||n/a||68%||83%|
Source: 2003-04 to 2007-08 HEFCE HE-BCI collection and 2008-09 to 2010-11 HESA Finance Statistical Return collection: HE-BCI