Lancaster University

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IDEAS at Daresbury

10/24/2008 13:18:11

From left: Jeremy Howells (Manchester), Jon Saunders (Liverpool), Lancaster's VC Prof Paul Wellings, Iain Gray (TSB) and Colin Whitehouse (STFC)
From left: Jeremy Howells (Manchester), Jon Saunders (Liverpool), Lancaster's VC Prof Paul Wellings, Iain Gray (TSB) and Colin Whitehouse (STFC)
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, has visited Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus (Daresbury SIC) to launch a major collaboration between the Campus and its higher education stakeholders – Lancaster University, the University of Liverpool and the University of Manchester.

The collaboration will have its base at the new ‘IDEAS at Daresbury’ Centre on the Daresbury SIC, which Mr Gray formally opened during his visit. ‘IDEAS at Daresbury’ (Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship and Science) is the new collaboration of the Business/Management Schools of the three universities, along with Lancaster University’s Design Thinking & Innovation Laboratory, Imagination. The initiative is further supported by the Science & Technology Facilities Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and Daresbury SIC.

‘IDEAS at Daresbury’ will promote and develop detailed understanding of effective knowledge exchange processes between hi-tech SMEs, large corporations, Universities and government laboratory science and technology. It will also evaluate the long-term impact of public investment in major science facilities and organisations, such as universities, science parks and research establishments, in particular the two new National Science & Innovation Campuses at Daresbury and Harwell.

Iain Gray said: “IDEAS is a wonderful example of knowledge exchange in action. A vital part of the Technology Strategy Board’s work is to support and encourage an innovation climate in the UK – a national confidence in the power of innovation to create opportunities and raise sustainable economic growth. We want to see a culture that enables, celebrates and rewards talent and innovation. IDEAS shows how this can be done. It will bring businesses, large and small, together with research, science and technology excellence to drive innovation in the Northwest. And it can have a national impact. IDEAS will bring innovation to life and I wish it every success.”

At the launch event guests heard about the vision and future activities of this exciting new collaboration. There was also an important opportunity to hear more about the vision of the Technology Strategy Board, and its view on the challenges and opportunities facing business/academia collaborations.

Professor Paul Wellings, Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University and director of Daresbury SIC said: "The close interaction between business, government and Universities is vital for the economy of the North West and the UK in general. The IDEAS project will provide an important mechanism for the development of these links and significantly, an evaluation of how successful innovation emerges through these connections so that best practice can be identified and communicated widely."

Professor Murray Dalziel, Director of the University of Liverpool Management School commented: “Becoming more innovative, but more importantly successfully bringing to life innovation, is one of the most critical business issues facing leaders today. At Daresbury we believe we can significantly shorten the cycle from discovery to exploitation”.

Michael Luger, Dean of Manchester Business School said: “I am delighted to have Manchester Business School work on this initiative with our partner research universities in the region, Liverpool and Lancaster, and the Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus. We each have strong programmes in innovation, science and technology. But joined together, we can hold our own with the very best centres in the world. This will be a model for the Northwest of how the whole can be more than the sum of the parts”.