£600 million for universities to support growth of economy

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Three University of Liverpool initiatives have been highlighted as case studies

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has announced funding of £600 million for 2011-12 to 2014-15 for universities to help with the recovery and growth of the economy.

This follows the Government’s decision to continue Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) and to reform it to focus on the highest performing universities working with businesses.

Allocations will be made to 98 universities with an established track record in working with business, public sector and not-for-profit organisations. To release their funds, institutions must provide a strategy to be approved by HEFCE.

Funding will continue to support a wide range of knowledge exchange activities with individual universities determining the most effective ways to interact with their chosen partners in business or wider society. Funding will also support staff and student entrepreneurship, including the development of social enterprises.

The funds will build on success to date by the higher education sector in embedding knowledge exchange as a core mission. HEFCE started funding for knowledge exchange in 1999, and the higher education sector has made steady progress over the last decade in changing culture and developing capacity to work with businesses and the public and third sectors. The Government has endorsed this progress and, despite the current tighter funding times, has agreed to continue HEIF at the same level from the last spending period – £150 million per year.

Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said: “The Government’s commitment to maintain HEIF funding from the last spending round, and to ensure stability over four years, is most welcome.”

HEFCE has been actively supporting KE since 1999.

HEIF case studies:

Food – BOCM PAULS is the largest manufacturer of animal feed in the UK. Its employees are in constant contact with vets and farmers, offering advice on feeding and animal health issues. Rapid changes in the dairy market have led to larger herds with new feeding regimes and different challenges, and BOCM PAULS needed to ensure that sales staff were confident advising on these issues. BOCM PAULS wanted to enhance its existing training and development programme to increase knowledge and confidence among its sales staff, grow market share and meet the needs and challenges of today’s dairy industry.

Using HEIF funding and facilities at the Tesco Dairy Centre of Excellence at Wood Park Farm, academics from the School of Veterinary Science devised two highly participative training courses for 65 BOCM PAULS sales staff. This not only gave them access to cutting-edge into farm managements and feeding practices, but also gave them the opportunity to work with consumers of their products in a learning environment focussed on practical examples of problems. The success of these workshops led to the development of an additional refresher course on sheep husbandry to share the latest thinking on ewe feeding and lamb mortality. Further collaboration is planned for the coming year.

The company gained access to the latest research and advice, grater credibility when speaking to customers, vets and consultants and an increase of 80% in sales of dry cow feed. The University gained income from the training courses (helping to meet the costs of running the farm) as well as research insights from people working ‘at the coal face’ of agriculture impacts on research and developments in teaching practice through use of real life farming examples.

Medical Research collaboration – MedaPhor have developed a unique ultrasound simulator, they approached the University to carry out research on its ScanTrainer to assess both the effectiveness of the innovative technology.

Engaging academics and students – KE voucher scheme. The scheme was set up to attract new business relationships to provide seedcorn funding enabling proof-of-concept work leading to longer collaborations aimed to encourage academics to become more involved in KE and to raise the profile of KE in the University. The scheme attracted interest from all the disciplines and departments in the University and 23 vouchers were awarded in total.

One thought on “£600 million for universities to support growth of economy

  1. Alison Sammin

    Many more case studies like these can be found on the staff intranet for KE. Just visit: https://www.liv.ac.uk/intranet/knowledge-exchange/stayinformed/casestudies.htm

    The KE marketing team are always keen to hear from you if you have any examples of working with external organisations – not only can they be used for marketing purposes but are vital evidence for organisations responsible for lobbying the Government for continued funding in this important area that contributes to impact.

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