Swansea University awarded UK funding to spin-out research ideas and generate business opportunities

Swansea University today welcomed the news that it will receive over half a million pounds from the UK government to take forward its innovative research, collaboration and entrepreneurship programme.

The funding, which comes from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAA), was announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The total £60m investment in UK universities helps pioneering scientists and engineers create successful businesses from their research, improve industrial collaboration, and foster greater entrepreneurship. The awards have been allocated to 31 leading universities across the UK, with Swansea University being one of only two universities from Wales awarded funding.

The £637,927 award will enable the University to prioritise research areas encompassing health, energy, manufacturing, computer science, technical development, and associated disciplines. 

The three areas targeted for a slice of the funding are Materials Engineering, Human-Computer Interaction (Techealth) and the Centre for Nanohealth which encompasses projects across Engineering, Science and Medicine. In addition funds will be made available from the award to support a central resource, which will administer and monitor the account and co-ordinate a range of activities, events and initiatives aligned to the University’s EPSRC portfolio. 

Welcoming the announcement Professor Ian Cluckie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research said: “ We are delighted that Swansea University has been recognised by the EPSRC as one of the UK’s leading universities for research in engineering and physical sciences. Research supported by the EPSRC is recognised as outstanding on the international stage.

“The funding will support our scientists and engineers to help them develop projects in greater collaboration with industry, bridge the gap between the lab and the marketplace and bring research ideas to a stage where a company or venture capitalist might be interested. It will also help us to fund secondments from and into industry to broaden engagement with industrial research partners improving knowledge and skills.

“ The three core research themes which we have identified represent areas of significant existing and emerging strength for the University. The IAA award will be used to build on these strengths to harness the real potential to generate substantial impact through targeted engagement with industry and pump-priming activities which will rapidly yield tangible and exploitable research results.”

EPSRC Impact Acceleration Accounts. EPSRC has awarded a total of £60m to 31 universities in the UK including 5 in Scotland, 1 in Northern Ireland, 2 in Wales.The awards range in size from £600,000 to just under £6m. A full list and regional summaries are available from the EPSRC press office. Tel: 01793 444404. E-mail: pressoffice@epsrc.ac.uk

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800m a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture.

Billionaire entrepreneur and Swansea University graduate Sir Terry Matthews kicked off Swansea University’s Global Entrepreneurship Week of events. Swansea University is taking part through its Swansea Employability Academy, which aims to boost students’ skills and experience and thus their employment prospects. For more information go to  http://www.swansea.ac.uk/media-centre/latest-news/billionaireentrepreneursirterrymatthewsreturnstoswanseatopassontipstostudents.php