A task force charged with investigating how academic research can deliver “maximum economic impact for the UK” has been launched by policy organisations the Council for Industry and Higher Education and the UK-Innovation Research Centre.
The task force will explore how universities and businesses can be encouraged to work together, how to better align public and industry-funded research, and how to maximise the strategic use of departmental public sector research and development. As part of their investigations the team will conduct research reviews, workshops, online networking and interviews with UK innovators.
A list of recommendations for future practice will be sent to the government by July 2012 by the taskforce which will be led by David Eyton, Head of Research and Technology at BP and Shirley Pearce, vice-chancellor of Loughborough University.
Philip Graham, executive director of the Association for University Research and Industry links – which is not represented on the taskforce’s steering committee – said that although he would welcome more representation of knowledge-transfer practitioners on the committee he approves of the initiative to bring universities and business partnerships together.
University representatives on the group’s steering committee include Leszek Borysiewicz, vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge; Julia King, vice-chancellor of the University of Aston; David Sweeney, director of research at the Higher Education Funding Council for England; and Tim Wilson, former vice-chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire.
Other members include: Labour peer David Sainsbury; Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board; entrepreneur Hermann Hauser; and Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC.
The report was originally published in Research Fortnight issue 372 on 13 July.