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University of Edinburgh part of a new group to boost economic research


Edinburgh is to be a founding member of an international initiative that will increase the social and economic value of its research.

TenU – which brings ten leading research intensive universities in the UK, US and Europe – will enable improved collaboration between technology transfer offices (TTOs), which are responsible for the commercialisation of research.

TenU is funded by Research England, which has provided £1.5 million to support it and a new Policy Evidence Unit for University Commercialisation and Innovation (UCI).

In addition to Edinburgh, the other members of TenU are the universities of Columbia, Cambridge, Imperial College London, Leuven, Manchester, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, and University College London.

Research from these universities has led to many significant breakthroughs including Edinburgh’s work to develop the world’s first artificial vaccine against viral hepatitis B.

Dr George Baxter, chief executive at Edinburgh Innovations (EI), said: “ We are delighted that Research England has recognised and supported the valuable work that the most successful commercialisation services provide to their universities. There is much we can learn from each other in sharing best practice, to benefit our economies and societies on a local, national and global level”.

The group will share expertise to develop and implement best practice in research commercialisation.

As countries seek to rebuild their economies in the wake of Covid-19, university TTOs will play a key role in turning early-stage, research-based innovations into new products and services across different sectors.

Research from the TenU universities has led to world-changing innovations such as rapid whole-genome sequencing, the page rank algorithm technology that became the basis for Google, the world’s first artificial vaccine against viral hepatitis B, fibre optics, one of the most widely used medications for HIV treatment, and programmed T cell therapies.