Never has the need to collaborate been greater than in the current economic climate. Britain finds itself in a position where if it wants to continue to compete on the world stage, it has to be able to offer new innovative products. This is the key to international competitiveness and will enable our recovery from recession.
So why do we continue to try and solve problems in isolation - surely two heads are better than one? Doesn’t it make sense that we work with partners who can help us discover and deliver ground-breaking solutions to real world problems?
Historically, British industry has not fully engaged with universities, but business leaders must start to recognise the value that research adds to their business. Growth requires world class products and processes, so we must make the most of the talent and vision that lies within our universities and work together to achieve our economic goals. The UK HE sector is one of Britain’s global strengths, with universities up and down the country developing our future leaders and entrepreneurs. The Technology Strategy Board has a budget of £1bn over three years for applied research, to support UK business and drive technology-enabled innovation.
For thirty years, WMG has been carrying out world class research to improve the competitiveness of companies through the application of value adding innovation, new technologies and skills deployment, bringing academic rigour to industrial and organisational practice. An academic department within the University of Warwick, we were founded on our collaboration with industry and business. Our success is the result of cutting edge research and effective knowledge transfer working with companies on a global scale.
We have always seen the match between industry/ business and academic research. Companies within the automotive, aerospace, defence, healthcare, energy & utilities, food & drink, construction and pharmaceutical sectors have been collaborating with us to produce innovative products and processes since 1980. Of course there are times when they have taken a risk, but they have enjoyed the rewards of commercial impact and company growth that working with us has given them.
The world does not stand still and we are outward focused with our finger on the pulse, developing applied research in prominent fields such as digital technologies. Our Digital Lab researchers are using digital technologies to train surgeons via virtual surgery and creating software that will help to combat child obesity. We are working with creative industries and media companies to develop applications ranging from serious gaming to architecture and low cost house building.
Not only have we been collaborating with industry/ business and government, but we have seen more than 24,000 individuals studying on our education programmes, with over 6,000 Masters degrees awarded and the close involvement of over 500 UK companies. These industrial partnerships have enabled the Group to develop into a major industry focussed research and education centre. Our efforts have been rewarded and last year we were one of 21 winners of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.
Let us embrace collaboration and work together to showcase what Britain can offer the world.