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The Queen Presents Royal Award to WMG

The Queen has formally presented the University of Warwick and WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education at a special ceremony and reception at Buckingham Palace on Friday 19th February.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh presented the award to WMG Director Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Professor Nigel Thrift, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick and Mr John Leighfield Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Council of the University of Warwick. The University won this royal recognition for the work of WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group).

Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, personally congratulated the University and WMG on the award, in a speech made while he was visiting WMG’s International Digital Laboratory on 8th February. He said:-

“I want to congratulate the University of Warwick, a worthy recent winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.”

He also said that:

“Together the twenty one universities and colleges which have been awarded The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education, in this the 8th biennial Round of the scheme, represent a distinguished and sustained contribution to human progress and to the UK’s high international standing in education.”

Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, founder and head of WMG, stated:

“The Queen’s Award is an outstanding way to start WMG’s 30th anniversary year. WMG has been a vital bridge between industry and academic research teaching, bringing significant benefits to both. It has also been a bridge that has connected UK industry and research with global thinking and innovation.”

Robin Gill, Founder and Chairman of the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education, commented:-

“The Prizes confer the highest national recognition on the work of our universities and colleges and the part they play in the country’s economic advance, social wellbeing and industrial self-fulfillment. The Prizes scheme creates networks that benefit the institutions themselves as well as the wider community. It establishes a benchmark for excellence and validates the UK’s contribution to innovation, knowledge and skills on the world scene. ”

Notes for editors:

Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education are awarded every two years to institutions of higher and further education across the UK for work of outstanding excellence. They celebrate world-class achievement and capture the remarkable diversity and quality of the work going on in our universities and colleges of further education. The Prizes are a national honour recognising world-class excellence - in any aspect of an institution’s work - which demonstrates evidence of originality, innovation and benefit for the wider community.

WMG was launched in 1980 and now has 220 staff. Since 1980 more than 24,000 individuals have gone through, with over 6,000 Masters degrees awarded and the close involvement of 500 UK companies. WMG has teaching and research centres in Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand and provides expert advice to many overseas governments and companies.

Since 1997 WMG has generated more than £80 million worth of income for the University, and the industrial partnerships created through the programmes have enabled the Group to develop into a major industry focussed research centre.

It has had significant impact at UK regional, national and international levels, examples respectively being the Premium Automotive Skills programme, managers’ training for Network Rail and training for senior managers in Chinese state-owned enterprises.

The Group has diversified into a wide range of sectors from its initial focus on automotive and aerospace – financial services (RBS Group), mining (UK Coal), pharmaceutical (GSK) and house building (Westbury Homes). It recently opened a £50 million Digital Laboratory and is planning a second such facility.

Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya with the Queen’s Anniversary Prize Medal

Vice-Chancellor with Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya