New interactive maps released by HEFCE describe the size, industry sector distribution and characteristics of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across England.
This is a timely production of an evidence base. UK Universities are already implementing a variety of strategies to support adoption of knowledge by SMEs and drive local growth. This dataset will help even further focus those strategies even further on local absorptive capacity and local need.
Different regions have their own strengths, and maps such as these are useful when identifying sound Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation strategies for business development e.g. if seeking to structure European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) funded interventions around Innovation and SME competitiveness.
Knowledge Exchange from universities can work very effectively in supporting SMEs, and help drive economic growth within regions. For example, the University of Cambridge's Practical & Innovative Solutions for Manufacturing Sustainability (PrISMS) from the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) project, has worked with 60 early stage ventures and SMEs, with a total turnover growth of £17.1m, with 126 new jobs created and 201 existing jobs safeguarded.
Further details about how Knowledge Exchange practitioners enabled the success of the PrISM project in supporting SMEs can be found here.
Of course UK universities have a global reach, and they frequently interact with SMEs beyond their immediate local cluster. UK Universities have a significant effect on the national economy, and lead the world in Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation.