In its annual grant letter to HEFCE the Government has confirmed its commitment to "a strategic approach to knowledge exchange" and underlines the important role that Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) plays in supporting effective university-business engagement.
The letter sets out overall funding for 2017-18 to HEFCE and priorities for the sector body in support of economic growth and the Industrial Strategy. The £100million university collaboration fund in technology transfer, announced in Autumn 2016, will be provided for the period 2020-21 "to incentivise university collaboration in technology transfer and in working with business". The fund will be allocated through a competitive process. The letter goes on to say that when allocations for 2017-18 are finalised, they are expected to "lead to an additional research and knowledge exchange funding allocation for HEFCE to implement in 2017-18". This will be confirmed in a separate announcement.
This funding is welcome recognition of the many achivements that universities and their partners have made in increasing the quantity and quality knowledge exchange and commercialisation. PraxisUnico and AURIL are committed to supporting KEC professionals in their work at the interface between researchers and industry, and also to working with HEFCE and other sector stakeholders to inform policy and practice in this important area. Our work with HEFCE on the KE Framework is just one example of how we are helping to provide evidence from the sector in support of KE performance and sharing best practice.
The letter and details of funding are available to read in full on the HEFCE website.