Research Profile

Friday, 21 March 2014

Britain's universities are serious about business


Tim Farron MP, President of the Liberal Democrats, was right to highlight some of the challenges facing all entrepreneurs in this country - but the idea that Britain's scientific community is failing at business is simply not accurate.  

Reports estimate that in 2011 staff, students and graduates from UK universities produced more than 3000 companies. The combined turnover of companies originating from universities now exceeds £2.5bn and provides employment for more than 30,000 people. And over many years, UK universities have demonstrated, that (£ vs $) we are much more cost effective at starting companies than the US.
There is no doubt there is much we can learn from our US colleagues about fostering a greater culture of entrepreneurship and risk taking. The scientific community are willing to do so, but it is for policy makers, politicians, universities and financiers to work together to provide the necessary ingredients for them to thrive - capital, labs and perhaps most importantly - a can-do attitude.

A version of this was published as a letter in CityAM

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