The University of Huddersfield and the 3M BIC have been shortlisted in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2019 for their commitment to closing the gap between academic and industry collaboration.
Shortlisted in the Knowledge Exchange/ Transfer Initiative of the Year, the category recognises the University’s and the 3M BIC’s support for SME growth in the Leeds City Region, initiated through the Huddersfield Innovation and Incubation Project (HIIP).
The HIIP is the UK’s most innovative and unique collaboration between a University and a Local Enterprise Partnership, which allowed the University of Huddersfield to purchase transformational technologies driven by feedback from local businesses, overlapped with its research expertise to drive knowledge exchange with the region’s SMEs.
To date, about 150 SMEs and 480 potential entrepreneurs have accessed the HIIP’s services and four new jobs have been created at the 3M BIC to support HIIP.
Sue Cooke, CEO of the 3M BIC, said: “Knowledge transfer between academia and industry can be mutually beneficial. SMEs get access to R&D and technology they need to innovate and grow, whereas universities get access to commercial capabilities. The HIIP is enabling that collaboration, connecting SMEs with the University and vice versa, which is leading to greater levels of enterprise across the region.”
University of Huddersfield’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan CBE, said: “Through the HIIP and the 3M BIC, we are currently the only academic institution within the Northern Powerhouse that has design, additive manufacture and inspection capabilities to support SMEs with product development. We are finding that more SMEs are wanting to connect with the University and are starting to invest in R&D and exploiting innovation through technology.”
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “Leeds City Region has a rich and proud heritage of innovation and invention. Initiatives like the Huddersfield Innovation and Incubation Project (HIIP) play a vital role in bringing together the academic and business sectors to find commercial applications for new and innovative ideas and help companies develop new and improved products and services.
“By working together with academia, local businesses can boost their productivity and deliver the kind of clean growth that will benefit our City Region economy for the long-term.”
This is the second award that recognises the achievements of the HIIP. Earlier this year, the University of Huddersfield and the 3M BIC won the award for Best Technology Investment at the National Technology Awards, which acknowledged the technology on offer for SMEs through the HIIP.
The award ceremony will take place on 28 November 2019 at Grosvenor House Hotel, London.