UK Parliament has today published its report on the inquiry into 'Managing IP and Technology Transfer' conducted by the House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee. PraxisUnico welcomes the Committee's report and its headline conclusion that increased investment in Research and Development (R&D) by business is crucial if university research is to be transformed into successful commercial products. Stephen Metcalfe, MP said:
"Without a healthy commercial demand for R&D, the scope for universities to engage more in technology transfer is limited. Progress on this front is disappointing. The overall R&D intensity of the UK business sector is still too low compared to other OECD countries. Encouraging British business to invest more in UK R&D should be a key goal of the Government's Industrial Strategy."
University commercialisation has been identified in the Government's Industrial Strategy Green Paper as a source of economic growth for the UK. PraxisUnico and AURIL will be contributing to the industrial Strategy consultation, highlighting the need to increase demand for research commercialisation by UK-based companies in particular, whilst supporting training and the spread of best practice to smaller or less experienced units. This directly supports a recommendation of the McMillan Review of Technlogy Transfer (HEFCE, 2016) which is part of HEFCE's ongoing KE Framework project supported by PraxisUnico and AURIL. PraxisUnico and AURIL will be united as a single organisation from 1 April 2017, presenting new opportunities for the UK's KEC profession. One proposal in development is for a national review of tech transfer offfices to highlight best practice; we would look forward to working with UKRI on this (Recommendation 7).
PraxisUnico also welcomes the Committee's recommendations to review VAT on buildings and the emphatic support for HEIF which enables so many of our KEC professionals to bring research through to impact. The Committee recommended that HEIF-equvalent funding, which is for English HEIs only, should be 'consistently available across the United Kingdom'. The Select Committee report can be read in full here.