Monday, April 15, 2024

Over £1.3bn generated for East Midlands’ economy through research, innovation and creation of new businesses

A new report by London Economics, assessing the economic impact of Russell Group universities, which includes the University of Nottingham, found the impact of their research and commercialisation activities equated to more than £1.3 billion (£1.326 billion) in the East Midlands in 2021/2022 and £37.6 billion overall across the UK for all 24 universities combined.

Analysis showed that the research and commercialisation activities, such as the creation of new spin-out companies, wider knowledge exchange and Intellectual Property licensing, helped to support over 12,000 (12,185) jobs in the region. Across the UK, more than a quarter of a million (254,000) jobs, twice as many as in the chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries combined, were supported by all 24 Russell Group universities.

The report shows how the universities contributed to economies in every single region and nation of the country, delivering research and innovation in sectors ranging from medicine to sustainable energy and the creative industries. This is in addition to the economic impact generated by wider productivity spill overs, teaching and education-related activities, and the fees and spending from international students.

Professor Shearer West, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, said: “We welcome this new report which highlights the intrinsic value that universities bring to our local economy, through our research, our partnerships with local businesses, as a significant employer and by attracting thousands of the brightest and most talented students to our city, many of whom choose to make Nottingham their home after graduation.

“Through our research, education and knowledge exchange, we contribute over a billion pounds per annum to the UK economy.

“We are proud that as the birthplace of discoveries including MRI and ibuprofen, our long history of driving innovation has not only transformed the lives of millions of people around the globe, but fosters the prosperity of the East Midlands region.”

Now, the Russell Group is urging the Government to maximise the economic potential of the UK’s research-intensive universities by ensuring at least 3% of GDP is invested into R&D by 2030.

The Group, which represents 24 leading research universities, notes that such a commitment by current and future Governments would not only bring the UK in line with other top research nations but also deliver further benefits to the UK economy in years to come.

In a letter to the Chancellor ahead of the Spring Budget, the Group asked the Government to use the Budget to deliver on its existing commitment to invest £20bn in R&D by 2024/25.

Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said: “These findings demonstrate the immense value our universities add in every single corner of the UK. The data clearly shows that investing in R&D and innovation at Russell Group universities reaps huge benefits for local economies and communities, with hundreds of thousands of jobs created and new enterprise supported, thanks to high quality research across a range of disciplines.

“Russell Group breakthroughs are helping accelerate efforts to reach Net Zero responsibly, transforming the way UK companies do business and providing the NHS with new ways to save lives and cut waiting lists. Good choices and sustained investment from government has been crucial to this success.

“Now is the time to build on this success with robust funding to future-proof the skills and talent pipeline that is so vital to the growth of our economy – and to ensure that the research and innovation that originates within universities will continue to make a tangible, positive impact on people’s lives.”

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