Research England welcomes findings of independent review on UK university-investor links

Research England welcomes findings of independent review on UK university-investor links

29 July 2019

Research England welcomes independent advice provided by Mike Rees on university-investor links in the UK, published in a review today.

Mike has brought his considerable expertise, as former deputy group CEO at Standard Chartered and now as an angel investor, to this review. He coupled this with extensive evidence work, interviewing and listening to key participants in the commercialisation process, including nearly one hundred stakeholders from universities, the investment landscape, and policy and funding organisations. Mike’s work was also supported by an extensive data review by Tomas Coates Ulrichsen of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI) Policy at the Cambridge University.

Mike’s review highlights the importance of Research England’s Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) in supporting quality in university technology transfer operations, and Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund (CCF) in developing critical scale and ways to broaden access to patient investment capital across the country, and across sectors.

Mike also endorses the conclusion of the McMillan review of technology transfer that one size fits all policies in technology transfer do not work, and also commends exercises flowing from that review, such as the development of the Knowledge Exchange Concordat and the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF).

Research England supports wholeheartedly Mike’s message that success breeds success, and that all parties to commercialisation need to work together to tackle the real, complex challenges that face us in delivering the Government’s 2.4% challenge. 

The review also provides insights that will feed into UKRI’s strategy for commercialisation.


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  1. Research England shapes healthy, dynamic research and knowledge exchange in English universities. It distributes over £2.2bn to universities in England every year; works to understand their strategies, capabilities and capacity; and supports and challenges universities to create new knowledge, strengthen the economy, and enrich society. Research England is part of UK Research and Innovation alongside the seven Research Councils and Innovate UK.