University-business coalition calls on Chancellor to invest in Innovation for Growth

Innovation For Growth

Today, a group of Universities and Industry Partners have sent an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt MP, calling on the Government to recommit to investing in Innovation for Growth.

The open letter, coordinated and led by University Alliance, has been signed by business leaders from the likes of Siemens, Gatwick Airport, BusinessWest and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, as well as Vice-Chancellors and academics across the Higher Education sector. The letter calls on the Government to recommit to investing £20 billion every year in Research and Development by 2024 – 2025.

Read our letter to the Chancellor below. Add your signature here.

Dear Chancellor,

You are more aware than anyone of the economic challenges that lie ahead for our country. We know that difficult decisions will need to be made to protect our economy.

But avoiding disaster today is not enough, we must seek to thrive tomorrow and into the future. As business leaders, universities, and scientists, we urge you to protect Research and Development (R&D) funding now to help grow the UK economy and support the commitment to achieve net zero by 2050. We ask that you recommit to investing £20 billion every year in Research and Development by 2024 – 2025.

The 2021 Spending Review recognised that “investment in R&D and innovation will help drive economic growth and create the jobs of the future”. Productivity is the key source of economic growth and competitiveness. Between 2000-2008, innovation accounted for 63% of labour productivity growth. According to the CBI’s ‘Invest for Growth’ campaign, productive, innovative businesses increase their competitive advantage, are more likely to export goods and services, and are more likely to do so successfully.

The jobs of the future will include those generated by the UK green industrial revolution, as we seek to lead the world in achieving net zero. Innovation funding is already being used to establish new green hubs across the country, from Teesside to South Wales.

During these difficult economic times, businesses will need to reduce costs, but new and efficient products and ways of working can shield them from decline. Universities partner with businesses on a range of innovation activity, including helping SMEs survive and thrive in competitive markets through ‘new to firm’ innovation. For example, an award-winning partnership between a university and a law firm used artificial intelligence to develop a novel triage style system to improve the company’s family law provision.

Public funding for R&D delivers exceptional value for money. In England, the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) generates £8.30 for every £1 of funding. As part of UKRI, the programmes delivered by Innovate UK create £7 of economic benefit for every £1 of public investment, crowding in private spending. £1 of public R&D eventually stimulates between £1.96 and £2.34 of private R&D.

There is world-leading research and impact happening in every type of university and every UK nation and English region. We are optimistic about our country’s ability to generate and apply the new ideas we need to deliver a thriving green economy. We ask you to put your faith in the ingenuity and invention of our people, institutions and communities and invest in innovation for growth.

Yours sincerely,

National and local organisations across the UK, and the Vice Chancellors of University Alliance.


Full list of signatures below.


Higher Education

University Alliance, Vanessa Wilson, CEO
Universities UK, Vivienne Stern, CEO
Russell Group, Dr Tim Bradshaw, CEO
University of Brighton/University Alliance, Professor Debra Humphries, Vice Chancellor/Chair
University of the West of England, Professor Steve West, Vice Chancellor
University of Greenwich, Professor Jane Harrington, Vice Chancellor
Robert Gordon University, Professor Steve Olivier, Vice Chancellor
Middlesex University, Professor Nic Beech, Vice Chancellor
Birmingham City University, Professor Philip Plowden, Vice Chancellor
University of Derby, Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice Chancellor
Kingston University, Professor Steven Spier, Vice Chancellor
Oxford Brookes University, Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice Chancellor
University of South Wales, Professor Ben Calvert, Vice Chancellor
Leeds Beckett University, Professor Peter Slee, Vice Chancellor
Teesside University, Professor Paul Croney, Vice Chancellor
Anglia Ruskin University, Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor
Coventry University, Professor John Latham, Vice Chancellor
University of Hertfordshire, Professor Quentin McKellar, Vice Chancellor

Business and industry
Manor Royal Business District, Steve Sawyer, Executive Director
Medisort Limited, Stuart Brittle, Managing Director
DeeGei Consultancy Ltd, David Graham, Director
Dolphin N2 Ltd, Nick Owen, Director
Domainex ltd, Dr. Edward Littler, Chairman
Gatwick Airport Limited, Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer
Gatwick Diamond Business, Sally Brown, General Manager
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Henrietta Brealey, CEO
Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, Timothy Paul Gears, Business Development Manager
HORIBA MIRA Ltd, Dr. Anthony Baxendale, Head of Mobility Innovation Hub
Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Dr. Marcos Kauffman, Director
Intelligent Power Generation IPG, Dr. Jad Kozaily, Head of Testing
Intelligent Power Generation Limited, Dr. Toby Gill, CEO
Intelligent Power Generation Limited, John Grainger Production Director
Intelligent Power Generation Ltd, David Moore Head of Production
IPG Ltd, Alan Stephenson, Accounts
Centre for Business in Society (CBiS), Coventry University, Dr. Yurun Yang, Research Fellow
Coastal West Sussex Partnership, Caroline Wood, Director
Business West – Chambers & Initiative, Phil Smith, Managing Director
Pharmidex, Professor Mo Alavijeh, Managing Director
Plus X, Mat Hunter, Co-CEO
Siemens, Dr. Steve Jones, Connected Curriculum Lead
Siemens plc, Digital Industries, Brian Holliday, Managing Director
The GAMBICA Association, Steve Brambley, Chief Executive
The Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, Professor Jukka Aminoff
UK Innovation Corridor, John McGill, Associate Director
Unipart Manufacturing Group, Andy Davis, Business Development Director
Unipart Rail & Unipart UMG, Professor Stephen Ingleton, Engineering & Technology Director
Whitespace, Andrew Webber, Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer
Pacific Holdings Limited, Miss Damilola Ajani, Environmental Auditor
Regimanuel Gray Limited, Mr Nana Bassaw Blay, Accounts (Finance Manager)
RMG Professional Limited, Mr Roger Gosine. Managing Director
Energy Coop Brighton, Mr Damian Tow, Director

Scientists and researchers from the University Alliance
Coventry University, Dr Fatma Benkhelifa, Assistant Professor
Coventry University, Dr Mehmet Karakus, Assistant Professor
Coventry University, Dr Zilia Iskoujina, Assistant Professor
Coventry University, Dr Luca Morini, Assistant Professor
Coventry University, Dr Alaa Alhaj, Ismail Assistant Professor
Coventry University, Dr Dimitrios Kafteranis, Assistant Professor in Law
Coventry University, Dr Georgina McAllister, Assistant Professor of Stabilisation Agriculture
University of Brighton, Professor Martin Smith, Associate Dean Research and Knowledge Exchange, School of Applied Sciences
University of Brighton, Ingrid Pugh, Associate Director (Research)
University of Derby, Cecilia Onkabetse Moalafi, Associate Lecturer
Coventry University, Dr Petros Lameras, Associate Professor
Coventry University, Dr Esin Yoruk, Associate Professor (Research)
University of Derby, Dr Bruce Wiggins, Associate Professor (research) in Audio Engineering
Coventry University, Dr Matthew England, Associate Professor of Computer Science
University of Derby, Elivia Gates, B2B Campaign Manager
University of Derby, Stephanie Hughes, Careers Coach
University of Derby, Heather Turley, Communications Officer
University of Brighton, Dr Kirsty Smallbone, Dean of Applied Sciences
University of Derby, Matthew Birkin, Deputy Director of Digital Solutions and Services
Coventry University, Professor Richard Dashwood, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Middlesex University, Professor Carole-Anne Upton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Global Innovation and Impact
Leeds Beckett University, Professor Gary Jones, Director of Research
Leeds Beckett University, Professor Ian Strange, Director of Research, Built Environment
Leeds Beckett University, Professor Ruth Robbins, Director of Research, Cultural Studies
Coventry University Professor Lynn Clouder, Director of the Institute for Global Education
Coventry University, Professor Neil Forbes, Director of the Research Institute for Creative Cultures
Coventry University, Kevin Vincent, Director, Centre for Connected and Autonomous Automotive Research
Coventry University, Professor Sarah Whatley, Director, Centre for Dance Research
Coventry University, Professor Michel Pimbert, Director, Research Institute for Sustainability, Equity and Resilicne
University of Greenwich, Professor Andrew Westby, DVC Research and Knowledge Exchange
University of Derby, Allison Briers Enquiry Officer
Coventry University, Professor Lyndon Simkin Executive Director, CBiS
University of Derby, Isobel Stockdale, Head of Discipline Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism
University of Derby, Professor Siobhan Neary, Head of iCeGS and Professor of Career Development Practice
Coventry University, Dr Heather Sears, Head of Researcher Capability and Development
University of Derby, Dr Brenda Caldwell, Phillips Lecturer
University of Derby, Rubi Mahmood, Lecturer
University of Derby, Colin Hanson-New, Lecturer in Operations and Supply Chain Management
Coventry University, Carole Fox, Operations Manager
Coventry University, Marie Sams, Operations Manager
University of Derby, Graham Birch Painter and Decorator
University of Brighton, Professor Rusi Jaspal, Pro Vice-Chancellor – Research and Knowledge Exchange
University of Hertfordshire, Professor John Senior, Pro Vice-Chancellor(Research and Enterprise)
University of Derby, Professor Angela Bartram, Professor
Coventry University, Professor Patricia Phillippy, Professor and Centre Director, CAMC
Coventry University, Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE), Prof Dr Susanne Foellmer, Professor in Dance Studies
Coventry University, Professor Sylvester Arnab, Professor in Game Science
Coventry University, Professor Marina Orsini-Jones, Professor in Global Higher Education Practice (Applied Linguistics)
Coventry University, Professor Yilmaz Guney, Professor of Finance
Coventry University, Professor Ahmed Elmasry, Professor of Finance and Governance
Coventry University, Sir Ciaran Devane, Professor of International Policy
Coventry University, Professor Alexeis Garcia-Perez, Professor of Management Information Systems
Coventry University, Professor Katherine Wimpenny, Professor of Research in Global Education
Coventry University, Professor Xiang Zhang, Professor of Structural Integrity
University of Derby, Maggie Morley, Programme Co-ordinator
Coventry University, Jayne Beaufoy, Programme Manager – Creative Cultures
Coventry University, Joanne Noone, Project officer
Coventry University, Professor Paul Noon, Pro-Vice Chancellor Enterprise & Innovation
University of Brighton, Professor Rusi Jaspal, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research & Knowledge Exchange
Coventry University Charles Ingram, Research Assistant
Coventry University, Alex Masters, Research Assistant
Coventry University, Mark Lewis, Research Assistant
Coventry University, Dr Dominic Mahon, Research Fellow
University of Derby, Lucy Boyce, Senior Admin Assistant
University of Derby, David Bryson, Senior Lecturer
University of Derby, Duncan Marson, Senior Lecturer
University of Derby, Barend Slabbert, Senior Lecturer
University of Derby, Kit Lane, Senior Lecturer
Coventry University, Dr Alessandro Merendino, Senior lecturer
University of Derby, Dr Eleni Tracada, Senior Lecturer in Built Environment
University of Derby, Julia Cousens-Smith, STEM Project Manager
Coventry University, Professor Julia Carroll
Birmingham City University, Mrs Shivani Wilson-Rochford, Education Developer
Birmingham City University, Dr Kate Thomson, Associate Professor, Health Policy & Public Health
Birmingham City University, Dr Mark Ovinis, Senior Lecturer
Birmingham City University, Mr John Colby, Senior Lecturer
Birmingham City University, Mr Nizam Bolia, Senior Lecturer
Birmingham City University, Professor David Roberts, Professor of English
Birmingham City University, Dr Peter Simcock, Senior Lecturer
Birmingham City University, Mr Glen Day, Lecturer
Birmingham City University, Dr Polly Huson, Reader in Dance
University of Hertfordshire, Miss Simran Singh, Student, MSc Astrophysics
University of Hertfordshire, Mr David Hwang, Student
Birmingham City University, Associate Professor Nick Gee, Associate Professor (Accessibility and Inclusivity)
Birmingham City University, Dr Ian Gittens, Research Development Manager
Birmingham City University, Professor Caroline Archer-Parré, Professor of Typography
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire/Birmingham City University, Professor Christopher Dingle, Professor of Music
Birmingham City University, Dr Lewis Gough, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science
Birmingham City University, Miss Francesca Renzicchi, Lecturer
Leeds Beckett University, Dr John Hills, Senior lecturer
Coventry University, Dr Kathryn Stamp, Assistant Professor in Dance Studies
University of Hertfordshire, Professor Philip Lucas, Professor of Astrophysics
University of Brighton, Professor Andrew Lloyd, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Operations)
University of Hertfordshire, Prof Wendy Wills, Director /Associate Dean (Research)
University of Derby, Professor Susan Hogan, Professor of Arts & Health
Coventry University, Dr David Waugh, Associate Professor
Middlesex University, Professor Balbir Barn, Academic Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology
Middlesex University, Dr James Martin Charlton, Interim Academic Dean, Arts & Creative Industries
Birmingham City University, Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Coventry University, Professor Sally Dibb, Professor of Marketing and Society

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