The University of Brighton is to share in a £50m investment to stimulate the UK economy, it was announced today.
David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said Brighton was one of the country's leading universities to benefit from the cash injection to boost cutting-edge research and innovation projects.
Sixteen schemes will be allocated a share of the money by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund to work with business and support the UK's economic recovery.
The projects are expected to help create more than 500 new companies, 1,200 products and 3,000 jobs - adding more than £3bn to the UK economy.
Mr Willetts said: "Universities and colleges are vital to the UK's economy. The extra £50m 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 amount of money allocated to the University of Brighton, to be announced at a later date, will support the university's Green Growth Platform which links the knowledge assets of the university with 1,000 high-growth-potential small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and private, public and third-sector partners, with the aims of supporting innovation, addressing skills shortages and improving growth in low-carbon environmental goods and services sectors.
It will focus on four areas: sustainable buildings and retrofit; renewable energy; recycling and waste; and water.
The project links two of Sussex's most dynamic growth areas, Brighton and Crawley, and 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 University of Brighton bid include: British Gas, Mears, Southern Water, Ricardo, South Downs Solar, Downs Energy, GeoEnvironmental, Eco Technology Show, West Sussex County Council, Brighton and Hove City Council, Crawley Borough Council, Coast to Capital LEP, Central Sussex College, City College Brighton and Hove, Northbrook College, Shoreham Port Authority, Freedom Leisure, Housing 21, Business Support Kent, West Sussex Sustainable Business Partnership, and Bioregional.
The University of Brighton'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."
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