Lancaster University

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Lord Sainsbury visits the University

12/19/2006 11:18:25

Lord Sainsbury has visited campus to look at the links between Lancaster University and business as part of a government review.

Accompanied by the Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Wellings, he toured both the Lancaster Environment Centre and InfoLab21, where he visited the Graduate Academy, ICT Focus and met some of the companies housed in the Knowledge Business Centre.

Steve Riches, Director of the InfoLab21 KBC, said the visit was a good morale booster.

“There’s a degree of kudos for the companies and quite a few of them were chuffed that he was here. He listened and asked questions about what we did and was genuinely interested in what’s going on here and I think he went away with a positive image. Comments were made that other universities tend to focus on spin-out companies but in addition to these, InfoLab21 is working with a broad range of both established and start up companies.”

The former science minister also visited the Lancaster Environment Centre. Mark Bacon, Director of Enterprise and Business Partnerships at LEC, said he felt Lord Sainsbury was impressed by what he saw.

He said: “We felt that Lord Sainsbury had a very good understanding of the questions to ask and a good appreciation of how universities and businesses interact to benefit the local economy.We have new business ventures, established businesses and larger businesses and he felt this was the right mix which would lead to a cluster of expertise.”

Lord Sainsbury is leading a nine-month Treasury review into how the development and exploitation of scientific research can be improved.The review's remit includes an examination of knowledge transfer between universities and business in the context of globalisation.