The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) warmly welcomes the announcement of a £60 million Regional Innovation Fund, which will enable university and business collaboration at a local level.

In response to today’s announcement, Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of NCUB, said: “Effective university and business collaboration is the linchpin to establishing and growing the UK’s knowledge-led economy. We therefore warmly welcome today’s news that the Regional Innovation Fund will enable better collaboration at a local level in England to drive up regional economic development.

Marshall continued: “Universities play a critical role in driving economic growth, locally and nationally. Combined, their development of talent, as well as their research, commerialisation, entrepreneurship and local leadership, leads to enduring and widely shared benefits across the economy and society. Establishing a flexible fund that helps English universities to work with others to identify transformative local opportunities is an important step forward. It helps ensure that the Government’s Science Superpower ambitions have local impact.”

Marshall concluded “Whilst the benefits of collaboration are therefore clear, and whilst we are supportive of the measures announced today in furthering this, we also sound a note of caution. Supporting regional development, like the European Regional Development Fund has done in the past, requires sustained effort, commitment and resource from a range of stakeholders.  This Fund can help to catalyse university-business collaboration at local levels in the short term but a stable fund and firm plan will be needed in the years to come.”