New data issued today shows that universities continued to grow their engagement with external partners, contributing to the wider economic recovery, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Higher Education Business Community and Interaction (HE-BCI) survey results released today show that between August 2019 and the end of July 2020:
- UK university income from interactions rose compared to the previous year, totalling £5.2 billion
- 3,067 patents were granted – up by 14.6% from 2018-19
- 16,505 licenses were granted – up by 29.8% from 2018-19
- 174 newly registered spinouts – up by 4.2% from 2018-19
- University income from knowledge exchange activities with businesses fell compared to the previous year to £909m
Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of NCUB said: “The new HE-BCI survey results released today show that despite the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, universities’ have put significant effort into supporting and maintaining their partnerships with their communities and businesses. They have also continued to boost their research commercialisation activities. Across a range of indicators, universities have ramped up activity and engagement in a clear sign of their centrality in combatting the crisis and leading recovery”.
Marshall continued: “Though the survey results showcase the resilience shown by universities and their important contribution to the economy and society, there are still challenges ahead. Universities did report declines in their interaction with both large businesses and SME’s in 2019-20, almost certainly driven by the pandemic. This is concerning, as university-business interaction is key to economy recovery, to keeping the UK competitive in global markets and to meeting decarbonisation and health-related goals. Experience from the 2008 recession shows that nations that invest in R&D are able to boost productivity, improve livelihoods, and drive forward economic recovery. To help build back better, now is the time for Government, businesses and universities to invest in, not away from, collaboration, research and innovation.”