Brighton University has won a share of £50 million funding aimed at reviving the British economy.
The university’s share of the money has yet to be decided but Brighton’s project will be one of 16 to receive funding.
The news was announced by the Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts who said that
Brighton was one of the country’s leading universities to benefit from the cash injection.
The money is intended to boost cutting-edge research and innovation projects and will be allocated from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund.
It will be used to work with business and support the university’s Green Growth Platform.
This links the “knowledge assets” of the university with 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which have high-growth potential and to private, public and third sector partners.
The university’s project will be expected to support innovation, address skills shortages and improve growth in the low-carbon environmental goods and services sectors.
Ministers want the 16 projects to help create more than 500 new companies, 1,200 products and 3,000 jobs, generating more than £3 billion for the British economy.
Mr Willetts said: “Universities and colleges are vital to the UK’s economy.
“The extra £50 million will harness the potential for growth across the regions, focus on our world-class industrial sectors and create a skilled workforce for the future.
“It will support cutting-edge innovation and research projects and keep us ahead in the global race.”
The money allocated to Brighton University will be focused on four areas
- sustainable buildings and retrofit
- renewable energy
- recycling and waste
The project links two of the most dynamic growth areas in Sussex – Brighton and Crawley. It also specifically addresses a key aspect of Brighton’s City Deal – exploiting the potential of the city to be an economic powerhouse in eco-technologies.
Private companies, local authorities and education institutions involved with the Brighton University bid include: Bioregional, British Gas, Downs Energy, the Eco Technology Show, Freedom Leisure, GeoEnvironmental, Housing 21, Mears, Ricardo, South Downs Solar, Southern Water, Brighton and Hove City Council, Crawley Borough Council, West Sussex County Council, Central Sussex College, City College Brighton and Hove, Northbrook College, Shoreham Port Authority, Business Support Kent, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and the West Sussex Sustainable Business Partnership.
Brighton University’s project was put together by Zoe Osmond, business development manager for environmental sectors. She said: “This is exciting news.
“The university is committed to continuing to support local economic development and the creation of jobs across Sussex.
“Our proposal builds on our strengths of working in partnership with the private and public sector, supporting SMEs and our own commitment to sustainable development.
“In addition, it allows us to apply our research and innovation expertise to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“We look forward to working with partners to help ensure the success of major green economy initiatives, such as the Sussex Energy Saving Programme for mass retrofit of buildings across the county.
“We have been really pleased by the way this proposal has been received and the support it has attracted.”