As the end of 2019 approaches, yet another year sees many of NCUB’s university members shortlisted in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards, the annual celebration of the best of UK higher education.

We applaud our members’ successes across all 23 categories but particularly have our eyes on the ‘Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year’ award – a new category in this year’s THE Awards, sponsored by Huawei, which evolved from a category created in partnership with NCUB.

Between 2016 and 2018 the ‘Most Innovative Contribution to Business-University Collaboration’ award recognised partnerships that lead to significant long-term benefits to the businesses and universities involved, as well as the economy. The first partnership to win involved Dairy Crest and Harper Adams University, resulting in 40 new R&D staff residing on the Harper Adams campus, and a £2 million budget increase for Dairy Crest research. The following year Ryder Architecture and Northumbria University won with their BIM Academy, for bringing vital competitive advantage to the UK construction industry. In 2018 we were delighted the award continued with HSBC sponsorship with a collaboration between the University of Central Lancashire and Recycling Lives taking home the win for their game-changing car recycling project.

NCUB members feature heavily in category shortlist

The Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year award recognises the most innovative and original initiative in knowledge exchange or transfer in the academic year 2017-18.

We’re thrilled that nearly all the universities on this shortlist are NCUB members – proving once again that our members do not disappoint in innovative ideas. Many of the shortlisted projects also feature on our website as success stories – fantastic examples of what academics, administrators and business partners can achieve when they come together.

From a makerspace putting the Arts into STEM to an open access resource for the general public, here are our members’ projects shortlisted for Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year in this year’s THE Awards:

Brimingham City University’s STEAMhouse

The vision is simple, STEAMhouse seeks to unite talented start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs from different backgrounds within Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths – the STEAM disciplines – to bring amazing new ideas to life. Since its launch in May 2018, Birmingham City University’s newly created innovation centre has distributed over £67,500 in small grants for IP advice and prototyping support; provided over 6,500 hours of support to small, new and emerging businesses; launched 24 new research collaborations; and welcomes around 1,000 visitors per month.

The Huddersfield Innovation and Incubation Project

Managed through the University’s revolutionary 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC), the five-year Huddersfield Innovation and Incubation Project (HIIP) assists SMEs adopt advanced technologies, including additive manufacturing in metals, scanning and design, AR and VR, and improve or develop new products and services to increase productivity and growth.

The Greater Manchester Youth Justice University Partnership

A ground-breaking partnership between the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies (MCYS) at Manchester Metropolitan University, the Youth Justice Board, and each of the ten Greater Manchester Youth Justice Services, the Greater Manchester Youth Justice University Partnership (GMYJUP) responded to a strategic drive, at a national, regional and local level, to improve the voice of the child within the youth justice system. It is a unique model of youth justice practice, co-created with young people, for the first time in England and Wales.

The Northern Accelerator Story

Northern Accelerator – an innovative collaboration between Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Sunderland Universities – is driving a step change in the commercialisation of research to address regional imbalance and strengthen the North East knowledge economy. The collaboration is cultivating a pipeline of credible investment opportunities and will deliver sustainable impact by developing an ongoing venture capital fund for university spinouts, and a vibrant community of Northern Accelerator businesses.

Open Arts Objects (OAO)

The Open University’s Open Arts Objects (OAO) is an open access resource for the general public, which supports many different levels of learning with a national and international scope. Underpinned by the research of members of the Art History and Design departments, OAO promotes the understanding of art informed by the innovative methodologies of mobility and global approaches.

We congratulate the shortlisted universities and look forward to featuring the winning knowledge exchange/transfer initiative on our website.