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University-Business collaboration is second nature to Alliance universities

University Alliance welcomes the Dowling Report published today by the Royal Academy of Engineering which examines how we can better support relationships between UK businesses and the UK’s world-leading university researchers.

Maddalaine Ansell, chief executive of University Alliance – Britain’s universities for cities and regions – said:

“University-Business collaboration is essential to the success of our economy and society. The challenges facing business today can often only be met by a wide range of partners – with different expertise – working together and driving innovation.

“Our group of universities have been collaborating with business for over 100 years.  Businesses of all sizes rely on Alliance universities’ knowledge and networks to succeed.

“We are particularly strong in teaching geared towards industry and the professions and in applied and practice-based research.  Not least because we recruit teaching and research staff from industry – 28% of our new academic staff have come directly from the UK private sector, compared to 18% for the whole sector.[1]  We hope the Government’s proposed Teaching Excellence Framework will recognise and reward the value this brings to students and their future employers.  We also welcome the Royal Academy’s call for an even greater focus on research with impact.

“Innovating to meet business need is second nature for our universities. We are developing the Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA) which aims to produce a new generation of post-doctoral researchers with industry skills.  The first DTA will be in Applied Biosciences for Health and will start this October.”

[1] 2013/14 HESA Staff Numbers – proportion of new academic starters with known previous employment

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