LONDON The U.K. Government has made the largest funding awards yet to support knowledge transfer from universities to business and the wider community.
A total of 124 awards, worth more than £185million over the next two years (academic years 2004-06), have been made under the second round of funding for the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF2).
The awards will help English universities and colleges across the country to carry out a range of knowledge transfer-related activities including the promotion of networking between universities and businesses and developing infrastructure.
They also provide seed funding to provide venture capital for early stage exploitation of ideas and contributing specialised knowledge to regeneration programmes. A network of 22 new centres for knowledge exchange activity, with a wide geographic spread, will be set up.
Collaboration between higher education institutions (HEIs) sees 46 of the 124 awards involving more than 100 HEIs.
In a separate announcement a further £2.2million in funding awards have been made for solar energy projects throughout the U.K.
The twenty four projects chosen for funding will result in almost 650kWp being directly funded in this round. Projects were awarded to eleven regions and to nine different installers.
Housing associations, councils and schools and businesses are among those who will benefit from this funding round. The round supports medium to large (5-100kWp) scale solar electric power installations under the Government's £25 million Major Photovoltaics (PV) Demonstration Programme.
Projects to be supported include a Children's Hospice in Guildford, a large housing development in Huddersfield, a cemetery in Nottingham and a school on the Isle of Wight.