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University enterprise in the spotlight as MPs launch inquiry

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has announced an inquiry into how universities manage their research commercialisation activities.

Announcing the inquiry on 7 July, the committee said that as universities have increasingly focused on commercialising their research outputs tension has grown between earning short-term income and the need to deliver wider public benefit and greater long-term return.

Ann Dowling’s review of business-university research collaborations, published in 2015, recommended that universities changed their emphasis towards longer-term outputs. Her review added that “this must be reflected in technology-transfer office funding models and success metrics…This area remains a major source of frustration for both academics and businesses.”

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