£3.3 billion contributed by universities to UK economy
A study has shown UK universities to be delivering on governmental ambition to build up income from university knowledge exchange. During the 2010-2011 academic year, universities contributed £3.3 billion to the economy – a seven per cent rise from the previous year’s £3.1 billion.
Hefce, England’s higher education funding body, has said that a new company was created for every £24 million given in research funding, which is less than half the USA’s £56 million average investment for new enterprises. The study discovered that 268 new businesses were established through research by UK universities, employing up to 18,000 people. Graduates also established more than 2,800 businesses.
Furthermore, large companies have increased their spending on university services by seven per cent in 2010-2011– from £587 million in 2009-10 to £629m.
According to Universities Minister David Willetts, this increase in new start-up companies by university staff and graduates emphasises the “important role that universities have in creating a more entrepreneurial society.”