University-business links applauded

CLOSE collaboration between universities and businesses would help ensure the future prosperity of the region, Deborah Cadman, chief executive of the East of England Development Agency, told a conference last week.

CLOSE collaboration between universities and businesses would help ensure the future prosperity of the region, Deborah Cadman, chief executive of the East of England Development Agency, told a conference last week.

Speaking at the Association of Universities of the East of England conference at Cranfield University, Ms Cadman said the region's universities and research institutions had a key role to play in providing the higher level skills and training needed by businesses and their employees.

By working together, she said, the academic community and businesses could also assist the development of new innovations into commercial successes.

Her comments followed EEDA's launch last week of its 'innovation vouchers' initiative to help local businesses access alliances with the region's academic and research institutions.


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“I applaud the work that universities and higher education institutions across the region have done in recent years in proactively engaging with the business community,” she told delegates.

“This process has been key to the success of the regional economy in recent years and contributed to it being one of only three regions in England to be a net contributor to the Exchequer.

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“The task for us all now is to manage the current downturn and maintain our strong, vibrant regional economy. The region's success in the two critical areas of skills and innovation will be central in determining how well we survive the downturn, and how quickly we move back to a position of growth. Continued successful working and knowledge transfer between universities and businesses will play a vital role in beating the downturn.”

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