Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, has welcomed the government’s response to her Review of Business-University Research Collaborations, published today, that fully endorses the Review’s analysis and conclusions.

The Review sought to understand how businesses of all types and sizes could be encouraged to connect with the UK’s excellent universities through research collaborations that delivered benefit for both the collaborators and the country as a whole.

The government’s response states that Dame Ann’s recommendations have already had a significant influence on government policy and makes it clear that the review has helped to stimulate a wealth of activity in the UK aimed at improving conditions for business-university collaborations.

Dame Ann says:

“It is clear there is a tremendous drive and commitment by government, as well as businesses and academics, to make collaboration happen in the UK. With appropriate, often catalytic public support and clear and effective policy frameworks, there is a great opportunity to translate this into substantial benefits for individual researchers, for companies’ productivity and for the competitiveness of the UK as a whole.

“Government’s recent announcement of an additional £100 million over the next four years to incentivise university collaboration in technology transfer and in engagement with business is a welcome example of its commitment to supporting knowledge exchange.

“One of the major recommendations from my Review was reducing complexity, and it was interesting to see how strongly this message resonated. While some complexity in the support structures for collaboration and innovation is understandable it was clear that the government needed to simplify in the public support system for collaboration. I’m pleased to see the extent to which Innovate UK has embraced this recommendation, in particular its implementation of the ‘no wrong door’ approach which means, regardless of how a business first approaches them, Innovate UK will ensure that the business is guided to the right part of Innovate UK seamlessly.

“The creation of UKRI offers the opportunity to facilitate and support business-university research collaborations in line with my Review’s recommendations and I am delighted that BEIS and the Interim Chair of UKRI have confirmed their commitment to doing this. For example, implementing Innovate UK’s ‘no wrong door’ approach across the whole UKRI, once established, has the potential to really expand and accelerate collaboration.

“I look forward to continuing to work with government to improve the environment for business-university research collaborations.”

Notes for editors

  1. The Dowling Review of Business-University Research Collaborations was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, in his former role as Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities. It was published in July 2015.
  2. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

    We have four strategic challenges:
    - Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
    - Address the engineering skills crisis
    - Position engineering at the heart of society
    - Lead the profession

For more information please contact:

Aaron Boardley at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0655
E: Aaron Boardley