Newcastle is one of eight cities across the UK earmarked by the government to share £15m for the development of University Enterprise Zones.The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has announced that universities in Newcastle, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham can apply for a share of the £15m fund that will allow universities to drive local growth plans and support entrepreneurship and innovation.
Professor Tony Stevenson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Resources, welcomed today’s announcement which he said highlighted the important role of universities in local economic growth.
“Newcastle University is already working closely with business, industry and other organisations to share expertise and knowledge and drive forward innovation on both a local and global scale,” he said.
“At the same time, we are fulfilling our civic ambition to create a world-leading research centre right here in the heart of Newcastle City Centre. The £50m Science Central will be a test-bed for urban sustainability and digital technologies, bringing together academia, the public and private sectors and the local communities.
“Newcastle University is actively involved with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership with two staff currently seconded to the Partnership to support better linkages between business and academia.
“And in relation to stimulating graduate enterprise we recognise the value in encouraging interaction between our students and local businesses. Currently, Newcastle University has 224 active graduate start-up companies employing some 540 people. This strong performance has certainly been helped by the way we work with firms and so any moves to enhance this through the introduction of a University Enterprise Zone would be beneficial.”
published on: 29 January 2014