NEWS16 February 2021

New Centre for Innovation & Commercialisation to further our outstanding economic contributions

University of Surrey announces new Centre for Innovation & Commercialisation as report finds the University is already contributing nearly £2bn in value and 19,430 jobs to the UK.

The University of Surrey contributes nearly £2bn (£1.84bn) and 19,430 jobs to the UK economy, according to a detailed new economic analysis of the University’s direct and indirect contributions to value creation in the UK. £1.2bn of this value and nearly 15,000 of the jobs are delivered in the University’s home county of Surrey.

Marking the publication of the report, the University is today announcing it is to establish a new Centre for Innovation and Commercialisation to boost even further the University’s contribution to developing and nurturing new businesses and other ways of creating jobs and adding further value to the Surrey and wider UK economy.

David Sampson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Resarch and Innovation at the University of Surrey, said:

“The University is proud of the enormous contribution we make to the Surrey and wider UK economy. Nearly £2 billion of value and 19,430 jobs is a phenomenal measure of the many and various ways the communities in which we exist benefit from the work we do and the multiple spin-off benefits we deliver. We never stand still, and it is fitting that we mark this analysis of our current contribution by doubling down on our commitment to find new ways to boost business, turbo-charge innovation and deliver yet more jobs in Surrey, the UK and beyond.”

The University of Surrey Economic Impact 2018/19 report, produced for the University by BIGGAR Economics, breaks down the contribution made by the University according to different activities. While a significant contribution is made by the University’s core employment, supply chain spending, staff spending and capital investment – totalling £434 million Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy and 6,590 jobs, of which 3,080 are directly employed by the University – this represents less than a quarter of the University’s total contribution.

The combined contribution of the University’s Innovation and Enterprise, Commercialisation and Knowledge Transfer work is £800m in Gross Value Added to the UK economy and 8,445 jobs – with 7,096 of these located in Surrey. Comprising a wide range of networks, investment funds, business support outreach and other means of driving innovation and enterprise across the region, the University’s innovation strategy helps academics and the business community to engage with one another. Each year the University supports the transfer of research into practice, supporting the creation and growth of businesses that deliver real-world impact from research made at Surrey. Many new and growing businesses each year find a home on the Surrey Research Park – owned by the University and providing a physical face to the business ecosystems that the University and its research support and drive. Alongside this, the innovation team helps innovative businesses across the region to access and benefit from the research and other resources of the University.

The new Centre for Innovation and Commercialisation will be directed by Professor Yu Xiong, Associate Dean International at the University of Surrey, and will contribute to the University’s commitment to continuing to grow the value it adds to the Guildford, Surrey and UK economy and drive the creation of even more jobs in the region.

Caroline Fleming, Co-Director of Innovation Strategy at the University of Surrey, said:

“Our University creates wonderful research every day, and much of that is of intrinsic value, contributing to the sum of human knowledge. But we also strive every day to find ways to create economic value, jobs and livelihoods from the extraordinary knowledge we hold and discoveries we help to foster and drive. We are at the heart of an enormous ecosystem for innovation and value creation. Extraordinary people, daily contributing value and creating jobs. As the UK looks for ways of driving the growth and economic success that will help us recover fast from the challenges posed by the pandemic, our new Centre for Innovation and Commercialisation will add yet another powerful means for us to support the people and businesses who form our wider innovation family to create value and jobs for Guildford, for Surrey, for the UK and beyond.”