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Universities are key partners in industrial strategy

industrial-strategy-position-paper-coverUniversity Alliance welcomes the announcement of new funds to support productivity and industrial strategy – particularly the increased investment in research and development.

University Alliance has published a paper setting out how Alliance universities can help government deliver its ambitions for growth.

The document, Universities: delivery partners for industrial strategy, sets out how, by working closely with business, Alliance universities produce high-level skills and support high-value innovation. These are imperative for securing high-performance industry.

Universities are not only deeply rooted in their cities and surrounding regions but have networks that span different economic and administrative boundaries within the UK.  They also have international profile and multiple global connections.  This puts them in a unique position to join the dots.

Because of this, University Alliance is calling for universities to be included formally in policymaking at every level.

UA is also proposing the creation of a British Growth Fund as a replacement for EU structural funding after Britain leaves the EU. This should be tailored to the needs of the UK economy and focused on raising productivity by boosting skills and innovation in the regions.

Commenting, University Alliance Chief Executive Maddalaine Ansell said:

“The Autumn Statement’s focus on raising productivity and boosting high-skilled jobs is the right one. Skills and innovation are key to achieving these aims so the additional investment announced today in R&D and support for cross-disciplinary collaboration between universities and business through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is welcome.

“In meeting these ambitions, Alliance universities stand ready as delivery partners in waiting: anchors for national and regional growth, closely linked to high value industry and the hub and spoke in SME growth and innovation.

“As our report sets out today, the government needs to make the most of these tremendous assets, as well as providing a long-term replacement for EU structural funding with a British Growth Fund tailored to the needs of the UK economy.”

Notes to editors:

University Alliance’s position paper Universities: delivery partners for industrial strategy can be downloaded here.