Creating innovative regions: Alliance universities case studies

Universities offer so much more to a thriving innovation ecosystem than through the commercialisation of their research.  They also contribute four important resources that help businesses (especially micro and small firms) to innovate and scale up.

This includes knowledge from around the world that can transform business process, services or products, skilled and adaptable employees to drive innovation from within, routes to finance to allow businesses to take scale-up risks and new physical spaces where they can grow.

The case studies below demonstrate some of the innovation activities our universities offer in their local regions and cities.

You can read our full report Creating innovative regions: The role of universities in local growth and productivity here.

istock creative start up team innovative copy 3Access to finance

Nottingham Trent University: Helping more than 2,000 businesses boost their innovation

NTU is to receive a share of £10.1 million in European funding…


EDITORIAL USE ONLY Brenda Stevenson, 82, from Greenwich sits inside a prototype of the Pathfinder driverless pod, that will be the first autonomous vehicle in the UK to work on public footpaths, which has been unveiled today by the Transport Systems Catapult at a Government launch event in Greenwich, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 11, 2015. The electric-powered vehicles can seat two people and are designed to work on pavements and pedestrianised areas. They are being built by RDM Group; one of the UK’s fastest growing advanced engineering companies, and will be equipped with sensor and navigation technology provided by the University of Oxford's Mobile Robotics Group. Photo credit should: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Access to finance

UWE Bristol: Collaborating on the development of driverless cars

Revolutionising mobility needs of older adults…


LJMU sensor city squareSpace

Liverpool John Moores University: New innovation centre set to transform sensor applications across the world

Sensor City will bring together knowledge and experience…


Energy House Salford1 squareSpace

University of Salford: Salford Energy House provides unique testing asset for research

Only full-scale brick-built test facility in a controlled environment in the world…


UEZcollage UWE Bristol squareSpace

UWE Bristol: Pioneering one of the first University Enterprise Zones

Will provide a business ‘hatchery’, incubation and grow on space…


Lincoln Science Park squareSpace

University of Lincoln: Creating a new hub for education, innovation and investment in high-tech industries

Addressing historic skill shortages and creating new opportunities for investment…


SockMonkey Studios are a DigitalCity company which design apps. They have recently celebrated their second year in business and moved into new offices on the top floor of Phoenix Building at Teesside University. Pictured (left) Bob Makin and Darren Cuthbert are the two founders of the company. 30/3/15


Teesside University: DigitalCity Fellowships helps fledging businesses to survive

Fellows given support with living costs while developing their products or businesses…


Hert innovation Greg Splaat squareTalent

University of Hertfordshire: Helping student entrepreneurs see the bigger picture

Support for student businesses encouraged Greg McClarnon to expand his company…


Helen_Taylor _1252 NTU squareTalent

Nottingham Trent University:  Nurturing early development of students and graduates’ businesses

The Hive is a purpose-built centre for entrepreneurship and enterprise at NTU…


USW Welsh Financial Services Grad Prog - cohort 2 squareTalent

University of South Wales: Welsh Financial Services employers supporting young graduates

Collaborative two-year full-time programme of work, training and academic study…


Kingston University MA graduate Hend Krichen collaborating with a Tunisian craftsperson squareTalent

Kingston University: Helping design graduate launch successful international artisan homeware company

Kingston University supports up to 15 graduates each year by awarding them entrepreneur visas…


Hudds IRR squareTransformative knowledge

University of Huddersfield: Institute of Railway Research securing future of our rail services

The Institute of Railway Research carries out innovative, world-leading research…


Pictured are - Dr Ray Moate (White Jacket), Abdul Saieid & Valerie Hart from 'Fine Tuning'

Transformative knowledge

Plymouth University: Knowledge exchange forum creates opportunities for businesses to ‘crowdspeak’ and collaborate

Dynamic online forum for academics and businesses allows members to exchange knowledge…


BPC-HH-solar_1143Transformative knowledge

Kingston University: Unlocking the secrets of entrepreneurs’ renewable energy success

Exploring knowledge and skills needed by social entrepreneurs to successfully run community energy projects…


Bamboo bike at Live Friday Shpend Gerguri OBU squareTransformative knowledge

Oxford Brookes University: Collaborating on the world’s first 3D printed and bamboo bicycle

Building the world’s first ever bamboo and 3D printed lugs bicycle at London’s Design Museum…


Greenwich Both Chevrons 3rd sequence squareTransformative knowledge

University of Greenwich: Bringing the humble emergency exit sign into the 21st century

In an evacuation, every second counts…

Further reading