Appendix 2 - London Development Agency (LDA) consultation response by add37610


									                                                LDA Response to Lambert Review – Appendix 2

    Appendix 2 - London Development Agency (LDA) consultation response to the
                               Lambert Enquiry

1.     We would like to identify best practice and examples of excellence in
       business-university collaboration in the UK and abroad. Some examples of
       the types of collaboration that we would be interested in hearing about

•      Industry’s use of the information contained in academic publications, and
       academia’s use of industry patents and prototypes or vice versa.

1.1    Largely in our experience, academic publication is only availed by more
       technology-based businesses that intrinsically recognise the advantages of
       University resources. In businesses where the entire governmental effort is
       targeted there is little realisation of the benefits of academic publication.
       Academic institutions however do read and publish in commercial journals. The
       most effective way of information transfer is through industrial or sectoral

1.2    Academic institutions in the UK generally do not seek out businesses
       developing industry patents and prototypes. Most are at the stage of having
       recently recognised the value in commercialisation of their own IP and assets.

•      Joint ventures between universities and business, for example, personnel
       exchange or collaborative research and development projects.

1.3    Joint ventures between universities and businesses have also been limited to the
       larger or more technology led businesses. All the components of the SMEs (ie
       both small and medium sized enterprises have been limited in undertaking joint
       research projects). The successful ventures in this group have always been
       backed by intervention schemes like the TCS, Link, and Faraday partnerships,
       CRAFT etc.

•      Examples of Good Practice

1.4    London Southbank University is the most successful HEI in the TCS
       Programme in London.

       Case Study - Chiswick Foods Ltd
       A London South Bank University-supported project helped Chiswick Foods Ltd
       to streamline its production line, cut costs and become the first fruit and
       vegetable company in London to achieve the food industry’s top quality
       standard. Chiswick Foods Ltd, based in Acton, west London, prepares
       processed fruit and vegetables for the events, hospitality and catering industries.

1.5    The project resulted in improved quality systems, rationalised production,
       reviewed processes to reduce waste and developed organic lines based on
       contaminant-free preparation and environmentally friendly waste recycling and

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1.6   The new systems have helped the company to retain existing customers,
      improve efficiency, cut costs and win new manufacturing clients wishing to
      supply retail outlets.

1.7   As a result of the project, Chiswick Foods Ltd gained the European Food Safety
      Inspection Service (EFSIS) standard at higher level.          This meets the
      requirements of the British Retail Consortium Technical Standard for companies
      supplying retail branded food products. Higher Level accreditation has been
      achieved for three years. Through the standards in place, the company has
      gained approval for its organic products from the Soil Association for the past
      two years. Now the company, which employs the Associate as Factory
      Manager, is a registered Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Officers
      (CIEHO) training centre for food hygiene courses.

1.8   Ravensbourne College
      A unique and excellent example we have in London is at Ravensbourne College
      where the entire model of the HEI is sector specific and industry led.
      Ravensbourne College is a major university-sector college for broadcasting
      disciplines in Europe. The College is supported by the Independent Television
      Companies who have endowed the college with the infrastructure for a £10m
      studio                                                              complex.

1.9   Ravensbourne Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary which undertakes all
      commercial short course training and its client list comprises all the major
      television companies, including the BBC, as well as such notable businesses as
      the Water Companies Association, P.A. Sundridge Management Centre,
      Linklaters & Alliance and the M.O.D.

1.10 Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME)
     The Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) in
     Dagenham is an example of excellence in sector support and area regeneration
     using HE/FE business interaction. This programme has aimed to replace
     manufacturing and engineering job losses by creating a unique resource to
     reskill the workforce. CEME delivers a comprehensive strategy to regenerate
     the area at the former Ford car plant site and has both the higher and further
     education sector as partners. The project includes a New Technology Institute
     and an innovation centre, making it a comprehensive provision for retraining,
     right through to employment or business. It provides high quality vocational
     and academic programmes to drive the development of local business and
     promote exemplary manufacturing methods tailored to meet business needs. It
     will provide local people with the education and skills required by the new
     industrial base and add significantly to the nation's higher education capacity in
     manufacturing and engineering

•     Informal contacts, for example, meetings and conferences, use of science
      parks, business-university liaison, industry sponsored university posts or
      studentships, work experience for students, business contributions to
      curriculum development, academic secondments in industry and provision

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     of continuing professional development training by universities for

1.11 Industry sponsored university posts or studentships, work experience for
     students and business contributions to curriculum development and continuing
     professional development have been the traditional was of Industry – University
     interactions. However they have been limited to a limited percentage of
     companies who are already savvy to the advantages of industry-university links
     and the contribution of these links to bottom line profits.

1.12 Recent third leg funding has enabled an increase in the capacity for HEIs to host
     meeting and conferences. This has led to an increase in the informal interactions
     between Industry and academia. This is the most valuable means to raise the
     interaction as people can connect to relevant people without organisational
     bureaucracies and effective working relationships can be established.

•    Good Practise examples

1.13 London Technology Network.
     In London an excellent model funded through HEIF and following the success
     of a Centre for Scientific Enterprise is the London Technology Network.
       London has more than 4,500 world-class technology researchers across 20
     plus universities. However, it has been hard for companies to find the right
     people to help them with projects. The LTN aims to increase the number and
     quality of interactions between science and technology researchers, and local,
     national and global businesses. It provides a route for companies to find the
     1.     People within the university who can help them with their innovation
     2.     Solution to their problem, which might be training, consulting,
            recruitment, etc.

     The LTN also gives universities a mechanism for commercialising new
     technologies. The year-old London Technology Network (LTN) has now
     recruited 70 business fellows across London’s leading universities and research
     laboratories. Working for the network half a day a week, the business fellows
     negotiate and liaise with corporate sponsors. A unique feature of the LTN is that
     though the HEIF bid was led by UCL and LBS, LTN works with scientists from
     across London’s universities.

1.14 The Knowledge Dock, University of East London
     The Knowledge Dock is a network that comprises a Virtual Operation and a
     Physical Operation.The on-line networking activity is supported by a series of
     face to face networking opportunities, including business breakfasts and topical

1.15 National and International networking opportunities exist through the extensive
     global partners that the Thames Gateway Technology Centre has developed as
     part of the Knowledge Dock operation. E.g. Malaysia Multimedia Super
     Corridor, Kuala Lumpur, Port of Technology, Philadelphia. It works in

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     partnership with local networking organisations such as Benefits 4 Business
     and, London Chambers of Commerce.

1.16 The Knowledge Dock has received over funding from the London Development
     Agency and the European Regional Develoment Fund to develop a range of
     tangible services that support the Technology Transfer agenda in East London.

1.17 Product Design Lab - Consultancy services for product design related
     activities, including: 2D/3D CAD modelling
     −     Rapid Prototyping
     −     3D Scanning & Reverse Engineering
     −     End-user focused and ergonomic design
     −     Finite Element Analysis

1.18 Fabric Print & Design Bureau - Print and Textile Design based activities,
     −    Printing on fabric or paper up to 1½ metres wide
     −    Posters, exhibition panels and advertising banners
     −    Design service
     −    Training Suite
     −    Short courses in design-based software

1.19 Talent Lab Media Hub
     Production of lens-based and digital media, such as films, radio broadcasts, e-
     commerce and web-sites together with games software design.

1.20 University of Greenwich
     The University is one of a number of Manufacturers Link partners, each
     operating complementary Projects, which are targeted at small and medium
     sized enterprises (SMEs). Efforts of the partners are co-ordinated, with
     businesses being referred to the partner or partners that can best assist them.

1.21 The University of Greenwich Manufacturers Link Project is designed to:
     •    Raise awareness in manufacturing companies of the facilities and services
          that the University has available
     •    Assist companies wishing to make use of the University to support their
     •    Facilitate contacts between companies and those academics who may be
          able to assist them
     •    Support advisory and other services provided by University experts to
          particular companies

1.22 PARK - Partnership in Accessible Research & Knowledge
     Brunel and Royal Holloway set up the PARK business networking forum based
     on the Cambridge model, using the same VBN based web system although with
     a seminar and events structure tailored to fit the specific needs of the West
     London Region. This partnership arose from a joint HEIF bid from the two
     institutions and has been running for approximately 18 months. It is an example
     where a co-operative approach from universities can create easy access

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     mechanisms fore businesses. Through regular meetings and seminars PARK
     offers easy access to world-class knowledge, expertise and innovation that help
     your business prosper.

•    Formal contracts, for example, the use of licensing, research contracts,
     consulting projects, establishment of spinout companies, product testing, or
     business support.

1.23 Formal contracts used to be largely the domain larger companies especially in
     research. However recent changes have extended this to the SMEs. There is
     increased activity across the board in all aspects of formal contracts

1.24 UCL
     Six major Petro Chemical operators have joined forces with UCL to
     mould development and delivery of high value research, human resource
     training and innovative technologies. This influential partnership aims
     to facilitate a leap in oilfield technology development and establish
     productive and long-term relationships between academia and industry.
     It is an innovative and exciting new partnership designed to capitalise on
     the wealth of innovative solutions developed at UCL. It focuses on
     distinct UCL capabilities and aligns these to the end user challenges.

1.25 Imperial Innovation
     Imperial Innovations has created more than 50 spin-out companies over the past
     four years; a quarter of which have received venture capital support. One in
     particular, Turbo Genset, was successfully floated in 2000. Imperial Innovations
     realised £10m from a sale of 25% of its holding in Turbo Genset at formation. In
     the biotech sector, a number of Imperial College spin-out companies have
     received substantial later stage funding, for example Microscience, Lorantis and

1.26 In addition, Imperial Innovations has recently entered into a limited liability
     partnership with two London investment houses, Fleming Family and Partners
     Limited and Gordon House Asset Management. This unique partnership allowed
     them to convert spin-out company equity to cash outside of an “official” exit
     event, and demonstrates Imperial Innovations’ innovative approach to early
     stage company financing and investment.

•    We would also be interested to learn how the relationship came about.
     Were your local Regional Development Agency or Sector Skills Council
     involved? What more could be done to facilitate successful partnerships?

1.27 Some of the projects like the Manufacturers Link project run by University of
     Greenwich and CEME are funded and supported by the LDA. The Regional
     Innovation and Clusters Fund helped to support a number of knowledge transfer
     projects. This fund helped the LDA initiate its interaction with London’s
     knowledge base through significant and strategic projects that support the
     science base. Some examples include:
     •    The creation of a Knowledge Dock at the University of East London to
          provide a gateway to businesses

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     •    Supporting the creation of a new media cluster with the University of
     •    The creation of the London BioScience Innovation Centre at the Royal
          Veterinary College
     •    Support for the creation of NHS hubs to exploit knowledge from this very
          important sector for London

1.28 Some of these relationships especially with the larger companies were organic
     and also pre-date the establishment of the LDA. However the newer initiatives
     like the London Technology Network and existing initiatives have robust
     support from the LDA. The LDA recognises that London's exceptional
     knowledge base, embodied in its Higher Education Institutes and the NHS, is a
     key asset to enhancing the productivity of regional industry. The LDA strongly
     believes that innovation in London will only be fully realised if London's
     businesses and organisations are able to draw from the wealth of the Capital’s
     knowledge and science base. It is an important priority for the LDA that this
     knowledge base is harnessed and this is reflected in the Agency's work in
     innovation, skills and sectoral intervention.

1.29 The LDA Innovation, Science and Knowledge Strategy is aimed at establishing
     London's status as the world's leading knowledge economy. To realise this
     vision, three key priorities have been identified:
     •     Creating a culture of innovation in all of London's organisations
     •     Harnessing London's world class knowledge base to benefit London's
     •     Encouraging and enabling London's businesses to innovate

1.30 We have also undertaken a study to identify the constraints to University based
     spin-offs (see attached summary) and we have initiated action to address these
     issues that are prioritised in our Innovation strategy.

1.31 We do realise that we have just made a start and current efforts merely scratch
     the surface and it certainly it is a LDA priority to reduce fragmentation and
     assist through supporting a better co-ordinated service.

1.32 International Good practise examples

     We would recommend you look at two regions that exemplify industry –
     university links.

     •    The success of the region of Oulu in Finland is centred around the
          university of Oulu and its initial links with Nokia and ultimately with the
          Nokia’s supply chain in this knowledge based cluster. This is an
          exampleof how a university can influence reghionmal success.
     •    Secondly, for London the example of Madrid is particularly relevant. They
          have 13 HEIs in and around the city and have similar issues. What they
          have done is developed an innovation system that is cohesive and a single

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           gateway where all partners play a role. Delivery is joint and based on
           partnership with a key view to sustainability.

2.    If you do not have, or would like to strengthen such relationships, what are
      the main barriers to doing so?

      These might include:

•     Management and organisational issues. How can businesses and
      universities best organise themselves in order to benefit from each other’s
      resources? Do the present mechanisms for priority setting, decision-making
      and funding in the university sector help or hinder business-university
      collaboration? What changes might encourage collaboration?
•     Technology transfer. What are the barriers? How can it be made more
•     Intellectual property. Are the present arrangements understood and

2.1   The London economy contains over a quarter of a million VAT registered
      businesses, representing 16% of the UK totali. Over 100 of Europe’s top 500
      companies have their headquarters in London while the majority of its
      businesses are small or even ‘micro’ businesses. While London has obvious
      strengths, it tends to under perform on key indicators of innovation and
      technology. Businesses, for example, spend comparatively little on R&D as a
      percentage of regional GDP, at half the UK/EU average of approximately
      1.2%.Patent applications are similarly below the UK average.

2.2   Only 18% of all London enterprises, both large companies and small to
      medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), introduced new products between 1998-

2.3   We believe that a lot has been achieved in the last 5 years on this important
      agenda. There are some strong innovative key industry sectors, such as
      biotechnology, the creative industries and financial and business services in
      London. Other sectors of London’s businesses require greater support, and will
      need to introduce significant cultural change if they are to improve their own,
      and London’s, innovation and knowledge transfer performance. A lot more
      needs to be done to make university business relationships more pervasive
      across all sectors and geographic areas.

2.4 There is a task of awareness-raising that is needed to make business widely
    cognisant of the benefits of interactions with the universities. Existing business
    networks need to be involved in this agenda. Trade organisations and other non-
    public sector organisations have a bigger reach than intermediary support
    organisations. If Government could be radical what we need is a massive
    advertising campaign to raise the awareness in business communities.

2.5   As is well recognised the whole university –business interaction has been a
      supply push. For the process to be successful we need a demand-pull. As the

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      RDAs entrench this agenda they can assist with demand creation through
      awareness raising.

2.6   Another important aspect to acknowledge is that the knowledge transfer funding
      is a very small fraction of total university funding. Unless this is enhanced, it is
      unlikely to be focus of the Vice Chancellors’ agenda. The most senior
      management within universities have to be seriously committed to the agenda
      and allow the technology transfer departments the flexibility and agility that
      industry has to be able to partner meaningfully with industry in innovative ways.

2.7   There have to be clear and transparent reward systems for the academics to
      effective understand the benefits of engaging with an agenda that does not sit
      comfortably within the traditional academic role.

2.8   The main issue that hinders business collaboration is the complex environments
      of the universities and the differing timescales for delivery. Unless this is
      fundamentally altered, business will not see merit in the engagement. This
      change can only come from a dedicated resource not subject to competitive
      biding and capacity building within HEIs for this specific purpose.

2.9    Another barrier to generic university interaction is that businesses are no clear
      as to what university provides them the solution that helps their bottom line.
      More collaborative ventures like PARK and LTN mentioned in section 1 should
      be encouraged. More cohesive support can be offered through the reduced
      competition and thereby a reduced transaction cost for both the universities and
      industry. In view of the enhanaced role of RDAs mentioned in the higher
      education white paper, the LDA certainly would support and in fact
      collaborative bids.

2.10 One successful endeavour in changing the mindset of academics has been the
     centre for scientific enterprise programmes. These should be extended to all
     universities and should also include the arts.

2.11 The capacity creation in most universities through HEIF and HEROBC have
     significantly enhanced the understanding of IP. Protecting IP still does remain a
     resource intensive and expensive process and it would be helpful to resource the
     funding appropriately.

3.    A third set of questions relates to how business can attract the best
      graduates and postgraduates with the skills that they require, especially in
      technology. Questions include:

•     Is the quality of graduate recruits satisfactory? Are there any obvious gaps
      in terms of skills and disciplines?
•     How do businesses, individually or collectively, communicate their needs
      for specific scientific or technical skills and for the development of relevant
      courses in universities?
•     How could more attractive career paths for science and technology
      graduates and postgraduates be developed?

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•     What plans does business have to attract the best talent in the future and
      are the universities made aware of them? If not, what more could be done
      to facilitate such a dialogue?

3.1   We do believe that the skills of graduates are generally satisfactory in their
      chosen discipline. There is a perception in business that technology graduates
      should be equipped with more commercial skills and this probably should be
      taken on board. Some business modules on all science and technology courses
      can only benefit both the individuals and the businesses.

3.2   The main platform that businesses have in communicating course content is
      through contributions to curriculum development. All concerned need to
      identify more innovative ways of encouraging more industry involvement.

3.3 The dearth of science and technology graduates is an obvious problem for
    industry but needs addressing in a more formal way at the schools level.

3.4   At the LDA we support the young foresight programme in schools to raise the
      awareness of disciplines that have a career path due to labour market needs. We
      will be reviewing this for a possible expansion.

4.    The review team will also want to understand whether financial
      considerations currently help or hinder the relationships between business
      and universities. Questions include:

•     Are there ways in which the present financing arrangements could be made
      more effective?
•     Has the introduction of R&D tax credits influenced business demand for
      research and skills, and if so, how? Are there other means to the same end?

4.1 The present financing arrangements of the business- industry interaction
    directed at universities is insufficient to make a sea change of a difference. It is
    not a serious enough amount to make the universities seriously committed to the

4.2   The funding is mainly for establishing the outreach offices. There is no clear and
      transparent process of rewards for the academics. If academics need to engage
      with business outside the university core business then what is the motivation?
      The status is akin to creating a sales team without a defined and costed product
      or identification of a market.

4.3   The funding by and large is through a bidding process for tranches of 2-3 years.
      The business-university agenda will bear fruits in the long run. There is a need
      to have a steady and continuing stream of funding that is dedicated to this
      agenda to enable proper longer term and effective planning.

4.4. There is also a perception within some businesses, especially SMEs, that the
     interaction should be subsidised. It obviously does not have enough value as it
     stands for them to want it and pay for it. There is a fundamental examination
     needed on what will make the business-university relationship of sufficient

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      value to be self-sustaining. Also what is the level of capacity creation support
      the Government is seriously prepared to put behind this.

4.5   The R & D tax credit has not have a significant impact on business demand for
      research and skills. The eligible costs have been narrow and we welcome the
      expansion to cover associated costs in the current budget to make it meaningful
      to claim the tax credits. Another reason is that the awareness of the R & D tax
      credit is probably restricted to financial advisers in the case of SMEs and is
      subject to the quality of advice. SMEs are generally The R & D tax credit also
      has been used mainly by the research companies rather than encourage
      companies that do not have research and development as their core business to
      innovate to undertake.

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