Universities to get £100m support for research

Stuart Gall
Stuart Gall
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YORKSHIRE universities hope to enhance their ties with business as a result of measures outlined in the Budget.

Chancellor George Osborne yesterday committed £100m of support, along with the private sector, for investment in major new university research facilities.

Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell group of universities, which includes Leeds University, said: “Our universities are already the partner of choice for thousands of leading businesses and have a strong track record of securing vital funding. We welcome the ambition to increase private sector funding – but this must be in addition to Government funding and not a replacement for it.

“Let’s not forget that our competitors are injecting vast amounts of cash into their universities and our leading universities are already under-resourced in comparison with our international competitors.

“We look forward to seeing more details on how this funding scheme will operate. In these difficult economic times every pound must work hard so we hope the Government will maximise the impact of this investment by directing it at those institutions which already have a critical mass of world leading researchers.”

Professor Calie Pistorius, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull, said: “The announcement in the Budget that the government will set up a new £100m fund to support investment in major new university research facilities is excellent news for the UK, and will bolster its innovation-driven competitiveness.”

Stuart Gall, commercial director of Fusion IP, which commercialises research from the universities of Sheffield and Cardiff, welcomed the announcement.

“Universities are idea generation power houses,” he said.

Steve Blacker, Deloitte’s director of research and development services, said the proposals could help to create a cluster of hi-tech businesses around top universities.