Formula for success

A new funding approach to help universities apply their knowledge, ideas and expertise in response to market needs has been announced by Lord Sainsbury.


A new funding approach to help universities apply their knowledge, ideas and expertise in response to market needs and for public benefit has been announced by Lord Sainsbury, Science and Innovation Minister.



A total of £238 million is being allocated between 2006-08 under the third round of the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), to increase collaboration between around 130 higher education institutions and businesses and other partners throughout the country.



The allocation, which is being jointly funded by the Office of Science and Technology and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, will support a broad range of knowledge transfer activities to produce direct and indirect benefits to the UK economy.



HEIF is moving to a new format, with three-quarters of funding distributed by formula, and the remainder through open competition. The combined total of £265 million under the first and second rounds of HEIF between 2001-2006 was allocated through open competitions.



‘In the last few years UK universities have transformed the way they work with business and exploit their research. In the past two years alone, 20 spin-outs from UK universities have floated on the stockmarket with a combined value of over £1 billion,” commented Lord Sainsbury.



Funding will be allocated to universities under the new formula based on three criteria: the number of academic staff; the amount of external income generated through knowledge transfer; and knowledge transfer activity levels.


In order to smooth the change from a competition to formula-based funding, a transitional safety net will make sure that no institution gets less than 75 per cent of its previous allocation under HEIF.