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Universities partner with businesses on manufacturing tech

university partnerships
Image credit: IM Imagery / Shutterstock

The government is backing nine new regional partnerships bringing together universities and industry to manufacture advanced technologies.

Universities including Dundee, Newcastle, Sheffield and Imperial College London are participating in the state-backed project to work alongside firms such as Unilever and Phlux Technology.

The partnerships, funded by a £5m support package from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) – part of UKRI – aim to support enterprise product development with research conducted at major UK universities.

Among the projects being worked on through the partnerships are an effort to make more affordable electric vehicles, develop sustainable packaging materials to replace plastic and incorporate AI into manufacturing.

The participating businesses will match the funding contributions from the government.

The EPSRC said that the partnerships were selected in part due to the wide range of regional representation, with the goal of celebrating and expanding tech development across the UK.

“These partnerships which particularly encourage small and medium-sized enterprises will further promote business investment in discovery science and explore important topics including green packaging and sustainable manufacturing,” added Dr Andrew Bourne, executive director of partnerships at EPSRC.

Phlux Technology, which is partnering with the University of Sheffield to accelerate work on a recently developed low avalanche noise semiconductor, raised £4m in an Octopus Ventures-led funding round last December.

Tech innovation born out of academia has become the focus of an upcoming Treasury-backed review, which will explore how the UK can better harness the work of university spinouts to boost economic growth.