University of Warwick’s work with local businesses commended by government report

The University of Warwick has been praised for its collaborative work with local businesses and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) by the government.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills released its Review of Business-University Collaboration yesterday (February 28), calling for universities to be at the heart of the economy – highlighting Warwick as one of the shining examples.

Led by Professor Sir Tim Wilson, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire, the report highlighted WMG, at the University of Warwick, as an ‘example of excellence’ for its regional focus and work with major companies, including Jaguar Land Rover and its impending Technology and Innovation Centre.

Warwick’s collaboration with the LEP was held up as a Case Study for the report, praising the successful work to ‘support local businesses especially those engaged in boundary pushing, high‐value manufacturing.’

The Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project (LCVTP), based at WMG, is highlighted for revolutionising the way vehicles are powered and manufacturing.

University of Warwick Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift, who also sits on the board of the LEP, said: “I am delighted that this fantastic hard work has been recognised by Professor Tim Wilson. Warwick is a globally-connected research university with four decades of experience in how best to open that international research excellence to the local and national economy and business.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The best universities around the world are building deeper links with business. We must ensure our universities and businesses develop strong relationships to maximise innovation and ensure students come out of universities equipped to excel in the workforce.”

Universities and Science Minister David Willietts added: “Sir Tim’s review has identified a number of examples of how collaboration can work in the real world and the good practice that already exists. I’d now like to see this best practice spread more widely within and across universities, businesses, industry sectors and local areas.”

Review author Professor Sir Tim Wilson said: “It is clear from my review that the UK has the potential to be a world leader in university-business collaboration, building on the diversity of collaborative networks, partnerships and supply chains that already exist. The key to success is on-going cultural change, strengthening and extending the relationships between business and universities.

“To achieve this; belief, commitment and leadership amongst universities, business and government is essential.”

The Universities of Warwick and Coventry have a long history of working successfully together to support local businesses especially those engaged in boundary pushing, high‐value manufacturing. This is typified by the Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project (LCVTP), which revolutionises the way vehicles are powered and manufactured. Warwick and Coventry Universities; Jaguar Land Rover; Tata Motors; Zytek Automotive; Ricardo; and the Motor Industry Research Association form a core consortium for this project with over 25 smaller local companies involved. The Coventry and Warwickshire LEP appointed both universities at board level from its formation, and both are actively involved in driving forward the LEP agenda. Warwick Manufacturing Group and Ansty’s Manufacturing Technology Centre are partners in the new high‐value manufacturing Catapult centre. Complementing this, Coventry University, in partnership with MIRA Ltd, secured enterprise zone status and a 20 million Regional Growth Fund bid to develop an 874 acre technology park for Advanced Transport Technologies, supported by two adjoining LEP areas.

 
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