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Northern universities launch industry innovation forum

Story supplied by LU Press Office

The N8 Research Partnership of eight northern English universities, including Lancaster, has launched an Industry Innovation Forum to promote collaboration between industry and academia.

The main objective of the Industry Innovation Forum will be to create new collaborations between industry and the research base to drive innovation, competitive advantage and growth. It will maximise linkages and market pull between private sector R&D, industrial and consumer needs and the world class research base in the UK.

Led by the N8 Research Partnership, the initial partners of the Industry Innovation Forum will be the Northern research intensive universities and global firms involved with research and development, including AstraZeneca, Croda, National Nuclear Laboratory, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, Siemens, Smith & Nephew and Unilever.

Professor Trevor McMillan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Lancaster University and Chair of the N8 Pro Vice Chancellors Group, said: "The Industry Innovation Forum is a new way of working to stimulate new ideas and insights through academic and industry partners working together, on a cross sector basis. We have listened to our industry partners, and we are designing the Forum so that their innovation needs can be matched with possibilities from the science base."

The N8 are working on the delivery plans for the Forum with the Technology Strategy Board.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: "This new initiative, which the Technology Strategy Board is piloting and supporting jointly with N8, aims to create new and innovative approaches through which businesses large and small can work together with Universities, leading to the co-creation of ideas and opportunities and the translation of new research and technology into products and services that can be brought to market. Essentially this is open innovation in action, and if successful, we see considerable scope and potential to roll it out further in the future."

The N8 Innovation Forum will officially launch in February 2012.

Fri 16 December 2011