University of Exeter Launches “Exeter Innovation” Initiative to Tackle Key Challenges

University of Exeter Launches “Exeter Innovation” Initiative to Tackle Key Challenges

(IN BRIEF) The University of Exeter has introduced a new initiative called “Exeter Innovation” aimed at fostering business partnerships and addressing contemporary challenges, including climate change and skills shortages. This initiative seeks to connect organizations with leading experts, support skill development, and provide access to innovation resources and facilities. The University, known for its high-impact research and education, has been collaborating with over 2,000 organizations annually on projects spanning various domains. The university’s strong focus on innovation and research collaborations is reflected in its ranking in the Knowledge Exchange Framework and its leadership in providing degree apprenticeships. Exeter Innovation aims to further enhance these efforts by facilitating partnerships with academia and industry to create innovative solutions, products, and services.

(PRESS RELEASE) EXETER, 30-Sep-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — The University of Exeter is launching a new initiative to support business partnerships and develop innovative solutions to major challenges – from the climate crisis to the national skills shortage.

Exeter Innovation will benefit organisations who want to work with the university, by helping them to connect with world-leading experts, develop skilled workforces, and access critical innovation support and facilities.

The new initiative arrives at a time when the University’s reputation for delivering high-impact research and education is growing. The institution works on collaborative projects with over 2,000 organisations each year – from the National Trust and Quorn Foods to South West Water and Channel 4 – and now ranks joint 18th globally in the influential THE Impact Rankings for progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).

“As we work to deliver our Strategy 2030 and advance progress towards a sustainable, healthy and socially just future, Exeter Innovation will play a central role – connecting partners with our world-leading academic community to create new solutions, products and services.” Professor Lisa Roberts, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Exeter

Earlier this week, the University celebrated strong results in the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), a UKRI assessment of UK institutions’ capability to support innovation and R&D, moving into the top quintile for its research collaborations with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and public and third sector organisations.

Exeter has also become the largest provider of degree apprenticeships in the Russell Group, supporting over 2,800 students and over 400 employer partners since launching its first programme in 2016. The new Centre for Degree Partnerships – launched this week by the UK’s Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan – is supported by Exeter Innovation. This will further boost growth of these unique programmes so that more employers can develop their future ready workforce.

Professor Lisa Roberts, President and Vice-Chancellor at The University of Exeter, said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of Exeter Innovation. As we work to deliver our Strategy 2030 and advance progress towards a sustainable, healthy and socially just future, Exeter Innovation will play a central role – connecting partners with our world-leading academic community to create new solutions, products and services.”

Stuart Brocklehurst, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Business Engagement and Innovation, University of Exeter, said: “The launch of our new initiatives such as Green Futures Solutions, the Centre for Degree Partnerships, and now Exeter Innovation, underscore our commitment to working in partnership and make us incredibly well-placed to drive innovation and support businesses in finding solutions to the challenges they face.”

Chris Evans, Director of Exeter Innovation, University of Exeter, said: “At Exeter Innovation, we work with organisations to understand their needs and connect them with the right researchers and educators for the task at hand. While our strengths are vast, our offer is simple. Whatever your needs – whether it’s workforce development, academic insight, or cutting-edge facilities – we will help you find the best solution.”

What Our Partners Say:

Professor Ian Youngs, Fellow and Chief Scientist (Advanced Materials), Dstl, said:

“Dstl and the defence sector work with the world-leading researchers at Exeter and their partners in many areas, from materials science; microbiology and medical countermeasures; human performance and protection; data science and AI to systems thinking; strategy and security; sensor fusion; circular economy and sustainability.

“Our vision to be a ‘partner of choice’ with academia and industry will certainly be enhanced with the joint work we do with Exeter Innovation.” Professor Ian Youngs, Fellow and Chief Scientist (Advanced Materials), Dstl

He continued: “In advanced materials, the collaboration has extended over decades in metamaterials, growing scientific foundations and skills and then stimulating the translation of these important developments for many sectors beyond defence, working with a wide range of companies, small and large. Moreover, now bringing leadership and purpose to the whole UK metamaterials community to connect the rich scientific and technological opportunities to national priorities including National Security and Defence, Health, Sustainability and Digital Economy – and underpinning critical technologies like quantum and future telecommunications.”

Nick Ridgeon, Youth Talent Programme Lead, England Athletics, said:

“Working with the team at Exeter has resulted in huge evolutions of the Youth Talent Programme (YTP). Having youth development experts as part of the project group has enabled us to critically reflect on everything that the YTP can offer. Making sure everything we do at the first stage of the talent pathway is academically justifiable and robust is vital to ensure the sport of Athletics is in the best possible position for the long term.”

Dr Simon Berry, Principal Research Scientist, QinetiQ, said:

“QinetiQ and the University of Exeter have a long history of collaboration that has benefitted both organisations, from identification of disruptive technologies at an early stage to access to specialist staff and equipment. As we work together to strengthen the partnership between our organisations the Exeter Innovation will play a key role in facilitating this collaboration.”

Laurence Oakes-Ash, CEO, City Science, said:

“We had some fantastic collaborations with the university that have helped us carve out a leading position in data and analytics. The team are extremely knowledgeable, inventive and responsive to our needs and are always able to secure highly-talented researchers to support our collaborative R&D. We’ve found Exeter to be much easier to engage on commercial R&D projects than many other universities and so would definitely recommend them as a partner for any AI, Data Science and Computational challenges.”

More Information

Exeter Innovation aims to support the University of Exeter’s ambition to deliver research and education that makes a positive impact locally, nationally, and globally. To find out more about the new initiative, please visit

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SOURCE: University of Exeter


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