Innovation news in brief: Academia; Northern Powerhouse; motorsport

Researchers are committed to engaging with business

University researchers committed to boosting the economy

A new survey of over 18,000 academics in the UK shows that the majority of academic researchers are committed to helping the British economy grow by engaging with business.

UK academics agree or strongly agree that higher education has a key role in UK competitiveness, 30% actively work with private companies, and although basic research is vital, the bulk is user-inspired or applied.

The National Centre for Universities and Business survey, the biggest of its kind, also showed that over half of the academics said working with outside partners influenced the way they shaped their teaching and almost a third that it increased the employability of their students.

Download the full report here (5.1 MB)

Lloyd’s Register takeover makes Teesside’s GMT a global player

An award-winning Teesside fuel testing company is looking forward to the future as a global business following its acquisition by Lloyd’s Register.

Guardian Marine Testing (GMT) specialises in the management of marine fuel quantity and quality, was acquired by Lloyd’s Register in a deal agreed in March 2015.

A year on the business has been re-named as Lloyd’s Register GMT Ltd (LR GMT), the business has grown to 56 staff with access to 238 offices around the world.

As part of the buy-out deal the original management team was retained and tasked with running the newly joined up operations from its Wilton Centre base near Redcar on Teesside.

Andrew Shaw, formerly GMT’s MD and now MD of LR GMT, said that the deal is great news for the company, which was set up in 2007 with three employees and has expanded ever since.

“We started out with my fellow directors Paul Livingston and Andrew McEwen and I, and then grew to 12 staff by 2011. After doing a deal to service the requirement of Lloyd’s Register (LR) fuel testing that year, our work increased by 200% and we grew the staff to 36 overnight.

“The main significance of becoming part of LR is the fact we have the security of a large corporation which has 9,300 employees in 238 countries, a turnover of £1 billion and is the largest charity in the UK which invests in many beneficial matters on a global basis.

“Whilst our strength previously was very much on a European basis we now have business in all four corners of the globe.”

Empowering innovation in the North

Leaders of the STEM industry and senior representatives of the largest innovation bodies in Manchester will gather to showcase the innovations that are currently being developed in the city in April.

Empowering innovation in the Northern Powerhouse: Beyond Graphene, which takes place on April 19, will also bring together PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, entrepreneurs and SMEs to highlight the innovations and the initiatives supporting them.

Major scientific organisations and bodies for the scientific field in Manchester will be represented on the day, consisting of a special guest, three keynote speakers and a panel discussion, followed by a networking session.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-chancellor, University of Manchester
  • Dr Hakim Yadi, CEO, Northern Health Science Alliance
  • Rowena Burns, CEO, Manchester Science Partnerships
  • Dr Martino Picardo, CEO, Stevenage BioScience Catalyst

More details here

MTS opens motorsport facility at Surrey Research Park

MTS Systems Corporation (MTS) has opened its facility on the Surrey Research Park to address new opportunities in automotive and other high-growth markets.

The Surrey Research Park facility will focus on making advances in energy recovery technology, including the development and manufacture of next-generation electric power systems (EPS) and solutions for more efficient vehicles. Key applications for such technology include racing and other motorsports, where performance is critical, as well as mass market electric and hybrid-power automobiles and aerospace applications.

The Park’s location is well-positioned to support the recent electrification expansion of premier European motorsports teams involved in competitions such as Formula 1, the World Endurance Championships and Formula E.

Wales Festival of Innovation

The Wales Festival of Innovation is set to showcase innovation in Wales through a number of events, run by companies and academia.

The festival, which will takes between 20th June and 1st July 2016, is expected to facilitate the exchange of ideas and concepts that will create collaborations and inspire a new generation of innovative products, solutions and cultural endeavours.

The Wales Festival of Innovation is a partnership between ESTNet, Knowledge Transfer Network and Welsh Government.

For more information or to register an event during the festival, please visit: