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Encouraging a British invention revolution

Sir Andrew Witty reports on universities and growth, writes Alison Goddard.

Universities should be entrusted with a £1 billion fund and allowed to lead consortia of businesses, local enterprise partnerships and other organisations, according to a government-commissioned review published today. Sir Andrew Witty, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, who led the work, writes in the introduction: "The UK has an extraordinary wealth of ideas, technology and human energy, much of which is world-leading and capable of seeding not just new companies but whole industries with potential to build substantial export positions. Significant scope exists to better align funding streams, organisational focus and increase cross institution collaboration to avoid delays in ideas reaching maturity and the risk of British inventions building foreign industries."

We have an analysis that is available only to subscribers to HE of the 186-page document and what it means for universities that have been entrusted to deliver economic growth. The Financial Times reports that (£) ministers have been urged to commit £1 billion in the next parliament to university-led commercial projects. The BBC says that the report reckons that universities should be funded to promote economic growth. Later today the All Party Parliamentary University Group is due to meet to discuss research and the economy.

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