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Dip in funding for University Enterprise Zones

The funding agency Research England has launched a call to boost collaboration between universities and small businesses, but the available funding—£10 million—is a third less than was allocated to the pilot scheme in 2015.

The science and universities minister Chris Skidmore announced the funding, part of the Research England Development Fund, during a visit to the University of Nottingham on 28 February. Universities will be able to bid for between £500,000 and £1.5m to extend their incubators into University Enterprise Zones. These zones are meant to help universities work with businesses on commercialising innovations.  

The £10m-budget includes £5m committed by the government in its 2018 budget announcement, plus another £5m from Research England. However, this funding is still £5m short of the £15m that the business department spent in 2015 to establish four pilot UEZs in Bradford, Bristol, Liverpool and Nottingham. Back then, funding for each zone would have equated to £3.75m.

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