Hannah Obern is a second-year student studying English with Publishing at the University of Plymouth. Whilst undertaking a micro-internship with Enterprise Solutions, Hannah sat down with Rich Adams, Business Engagement Manager, to find out how the university supports the business community.
What is Enterprise Solutions?
Enterprise Solutions at the University of Plymouth links businesses with academics by helping them access state-of-the-art facilities and expertise within the University.
We receive around 600 enquiries yearly from the local and wider community who want to collaborate on research and development initiatives.
And what are businesses looking for when enquiring?
Every business has different needs, but there are several things they can look for when enquiring about Enterprise Solutions. Businesses often seek facilities to carry out and accelerate their research and development ideas by working with our students and academics, including product testing, feasibility studies and quality control work.
Businesses of all sizes and within all sectors approach Enterprise Solutions to access the university’s high-tech facilities, which the Enterprise Solutions team can support with. There are modest fees to use the facilities, although some facilities are subsidised.
Are there any other reasons why businesses enquire?
Sure, the University has a wealth of knowledge and talent from world-class academic researchers and brilliant students. Many of our academics work with industry partners to develop research that mutually benefits both parties, and Enterprise Solutions has seen ground-breaking research through industry and academic collaborations.
Enterprise Solutions prides itself on its ability to help forge these partnerships. They support the economic growth of our business and the wider community and the research quality within the University.
What are the benefits of working with Enterprise Solutions?
One key benefit of working with Enterprise Solutions is that they bridge the gap between knowledge and support for innovation. Nationally within the UK, there is a growing focus on increasing productivity. The government has been encouraging collaborations between businesses and universities so that they can conduct productive and efficient research using top-tier facilities and leading academic insights based in universities.
Working with universities can also help businesses access funding for research. For example, businesses can apply for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership that allows UK-registered businesses to collaborate with an academic institution for research and apply for funding.
‘The KTP partnership brings new skills and the latest academic thinking into the business partner to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project.’ (gov.uk).
The University of Plymouth’s R&D Solutions fund can also provide grants for early-stage research between academics and university partners. https://www.essupport.com/case-studies/rampd-solutions-fund-2023
Do you think universities really understand businesses?
There are differences between the world of industry and academia but at the University of Plymouth, we pride ourselves on developing world-class research that addresses real-world business problems.
Businesses are seeking a partner that is genuinely value-free, objective and independent, and universities provide this unique approach to joint working. Businesses are also seeking a safe harbour where they can put their thinking and research to the test. The University of Plymouth provides the perfect space to aid the development of its ideas, providing validation for potential business investors.
Enterprise Solutions are the bridge builders between academics and businesses here at the University of Plymouth, which has a wide and impressive range of academics, facilities and equipment. Enterprise Solutions prides itself on high-quality communication and results for academics and businesses.
They locate themselves closely with the increasing British need for innovation and provide an excellent service for businesses looking to expand via research and development.