The University of Warwick has announced that Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has just pledged to make one of the largest ever personal donations to a UK University by a serving member of academic staff. He hopes his personal financial commitment underlines how serious he is when he calls on businesses and government to enhance the financial support they provide to UK research.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has committed to a five year programme of personal donations that will create a fund worth around a million pounds. He has asked that it be used to “support the stimulation and facilitation of research of the highest quality” and will include the creation of an annual reward for the Warwick researcher who has achieved most in a given year.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya is the Director and founder of WMG at the University of Warwick. He has published extensively in the field of manufacturing and is advisor to many companies, governments and organisations around the world. He has been honoured many times. He was awarded a knighthood in 2003 for services to higher education and industry and was elevated to the Lords in 2004.
The University of Warwick has announced its intention to launch a £50 million fundraising campaign in support of its strategy to rise up the global university rankings. Professor Nigel Thrift, the University’s Vice-Chancellor thanked Professor Lord Bhattacharyya for his generous gift, saying :
“This is an extremely generous financial commitment by Professor Lord Bhattacharyya. It will provide significant support to some of Warwick’s most innovative research endeavours”.
When asked why he had made this significant personal financial commitment he said:
“I recently spoke in the Lords to urge policy makers to make it easier for universities and companies to work together to create wealth through technology. It is vital that we increase the research budget for industrial and academic collaboration in the Technology Strategy Board. I feel now that I must match that passionately held belief with my own personal financial commitment."
"The new fund will inspire and support the very best research at the University of Warwick. However I also hope my personal financial contribution underlines how serious I am when I call on businesses and government to enhance the support they provide to UK researchers.”
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has a long personal history of partnership working bringing together policy makers, industry and academic research and teaching. In 1980 he established WMG (formerly Warwick Manufacturing Group), an academic multi-disciplinary unit of the University of Warwick, with a mission to reinvigorate UK manufacturing through the application of cutting edge University research and effective knowledge transfer.
The group began with a single office, the Professor and his secretary and has since grown into a global force. It employs over 300 full-time staff with a further 150 associates who fill four buildings at the University of Warwick (with plans for a fifth building underway). It also runs teaching and research centres in Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand and provide expert advice to many overseas governments and companies.
WMG has now grown beyond its manufacturing core into new sectors: health, banking, the built environment and digital technology to name a few. Most recently WMG has given a key role in low carbon Automotive research as part of the Midlands’ designation as a new Low Carbon Economic Area (LCEA) with £19 million of government funding for research into and development of low carbon vehicles.
Further biographical details are available at:
For further information please contact:
Peter Dunn, Head of Communications
Communications Office, University House,
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 8UW,
Tel:024 76 523708 mobile 07767 655860
25th February 2010