Investment is expected to speed up commercialisation of research

The UK science and universities minister Jo Johnson has announced a £138 million funding initiative to support collaborations between academic institutions and businesses. The investment will include £31 million through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, plus £36 million from partner organisations and £11 million from universities.

The EPSRC will also invest £60 million as Impact Acceleration Accounts awarded to three universities. These are schemes designed to boost the impact of research and ‘speed up the contribution that scientists make towards new innovation, successful businesses and economic returns that benefit the UK’, according to the EPSRC.

Among the activities to be funded are university–industry partnerships to develop photonics, new electromagnetic and acoustic materials, and ultra-compact super-resolution microscopes.

‘If innovation is an ecosystem then it is dependent on having a fertile soil of research and the fresh air of ideas to nourish its growth,’ said the EPSRC’s chief executive Philip Nelson in a statement. ‘These […] investments will provide the right conditions in which new technologies and products can be developed more quickly.’