Academic research partnership unveils new vision for the North

Sir Alan Langlands.
Sir Alan Langlands.
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THE collaboration organisation across the North of England’s most research intensive universities has outlined its new vision for the next four years to help promote the region’s world-class capabilities and encourage closer working relationships between academic innovation, society and industry.

The N8 Research Partnership (N8) is the collaboration body for the universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, and York, and aims to maximise the impact of this research base to enable business innovation and societal transformation.

N8 creates programmes involving a critical mass of world class academics which form networks of innovation excellence with partners in other sectors to drive investment and economic growth.

Collectively, the N8 universities undertake more than £650m of research income each year and employ more than 18,000 academic staff, forming the largest research-pooling partnership in the UK.

N8 works closely with industry to ensure businesses have an effective and single entry point to access world-class research from these leading universities.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds and chair of N8, said: “N8’s role is to promote deeper collaboration between universities, business and society.

“We seek to establish innovative research capabilities and programmes of national and international prominence and drive economic growth by generating income and supporting jobs and new businesses.

“Our track record demonstrates that we are in a strong position to help ensure that the UK’s world class research programme remains relevant and viable despite constraints on public funding budgets.

“We also have a valuable and important part to play in creating a Northern Powerhouse and by working together and with industry, N8 universities have already shown that the vision of a Northern Powerhouse driven by cross-sectoral innovation is achievable.” Areas of research include urban and community transformation, life sciences and digital creativity.