Business Secretary Vince Cable has launched an initiative which will see Leeds University granted a £2.3 million share of a £60 million national investment fund.
Leeds is one of 31 universities across the UK to be awarded an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), a leading public funding agency for scientific research.
The funding is intended to enable businesses to engage with engineers and scientists at an earlier stage, increasing the potential for commercialisation of research projects.
The grants will enable more research staff to be seconded to new businesses. The Chief Executive of EPSRC Dave Delpy said, “The research we support is recognised as outstanding on the international stage…These Accounts aim to make a step change in the impact that has on society.”
According to Andy Duley, the University’s Director of Commercialisation, the fund will allow greater research involvement in innovation and commercialisation. “We’re delighted that the University will benefit from around £2.3 million as a result of this Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAA) funding … increasing and strengthening our collaborations with industry.”
Support for the scheme has been expressed by students, with second-year Business student Laura Johnson calling the funding “brilliant for the University”.
“Although the funding doesn’t seem to directly affect students, I think we will benefit from this as much as academics. The funding is going to help the university maintain its high reputation for research and enable growth, and that will reflect well on students who study here, which can’t be a bad thing”.
Sheffield and York universities are among the other universities in Yorkshire to receive funding. The University of Sheffield will receive the largest Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) to come to the Yorkshire region, bagging £2.48m out of £5m being given to the Yorkshire universities.
Words: Rebecca Peartree, Kat Garvey