Call for integrated R&D approach


Britain's research and development bodies need to integrate their work with UK industry to help the economy meet the challenges of globalisation, according to research funding organisation Research Councils UK.

Professor Philip Esler of the group the will argue in a speech to the Association for University Research and Industry Links conference in Liverpool later today that knowledge transferral from academia to business and industry has to improve.

He will claim that universities, research and development firms and institutes must constantly seek to improve their collaboration with business and industry if they wish to help in efforts to maintain Britain's competitiveness in the global marketplace.

"The different research councils are working in collaboration with organisations such as the BBC, biopharmaceutical manufacturers, GSK, BAE Systems and thousands of small and medium enterprises to ensure that our research efforts take into account the research and development demands of different sectors," Professor Esler said prior to his speech.

"However, we need to look to the future and examine how the research councils and our partners can work most effectively together to deliver the step-change in economic and social impact from our research investments that the government is looking for and the UK needs."

At the heart of Professor Esler's proposals is the "commercialisation of research", a step he believes is essential if the transferral of knowledge "from the UK research base for the benefit of the economy and society" is to be achieved.

Research Councils UK is the partnership between Britain's eight research councils, which together receives yearly funding from the government of £2.5 billion.

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