Innovation is the process of turning ideas into new products, processes or services. Innovation is a collaborative process, in which partners from industry or the public sector work together with the research base to tackle R&D challenges.
For academics, engaging in innovation activity can be a great way to develop and strengthen links with external partners. It also provides the opportunity for academics to scale up and demonstrate their research in real-world settings, and to experience first-hand the direct impacts from their research.
Innovation activities can directly contribute to the University’s REF performance and will become even more significant for institutional benchmarking in the new Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF).
A wide range of funding options are available to academics with an interest in innovation. These include translational funds to support academics to engage with external partners to explore the potential applications of their research.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships can be a great way for academics to develop long-term relationships with innovative businesses by embedding research expertise into companies. For academics with established industry links, larger-scale innovation/translational follow-on funding and collaborative funding with industry are available via a range of funding mechanisms.
Innovate UK (typically industry-led) via Smart Grants and directed calls, with opportunities posted on the UKRI funding webpage or on the Innovation competitions page of UK government website. We provide strategic intelligence, advice and support for academics wishing to apply for Innovate UK grants. Useful guidance notes for academics considering collaborating with an industry lead on an Innovate UK application are available on the UKRI website and GOV.UK Innovation Funding Service.
We work in close collaboration with the Research Development team to provide support for these industry-linked or translational/follow-on funding provided by research councils.
Innovation and Business Development team
The Innovation and Business Development team supports academics to engage in innovation and business activities, ranging from initial research translation projects through to larger-scale, multiple-partner collaborations. We are a group of highly experienced individuals with backgrounds in industry and the public sector and have significant experience in research and innovation funding.
Our team includes industry-facing Research and Innovation Development Managers and Innovation and Business Development Managers who work with academics at all career stages to raise awareness of available research, innovation, translational and business engagement funding and to maximise the opportunities for to progress innovation arising from their research.
We also work in an integrated way with other teams within the Research and Innovation Service including the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP), Commercial Services, EU, Global and Research Development teams.
For further information about innovation or industry linked funding, please contact us.