Nine regional partnerships were announced between UK universities and tech manufacturers yesterday (28 September) as part of a government scheme to progress technological development and address industry challenges. 

The partnerships, collectively titled as the Early-Stage Prosperity Partnerships, have received around £5m of funding from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). 

Some of the partnerships aims include better development of AI alloys in sustainable manufacturing, creating use cases for a new low avalanche noise semiconductor and creating more affordable electric vehicles. 

Many of the companies involved in the partnerships are medium to small-sized businesses since the scheme is intended to boost regional economic development. 

The universities involved also come from the full breadth of England, including the University of Sheffield, Brunel University London and the University of Dundee. 

Executive Director of Partnerships at EPSRC, Dr. Andrew Bourne, stated that he was “excited” for the future of such partnerships and the potential impact they will have on sustainability and innovation. 

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By GlobalData

“These partnerships which particularly encourage small and medium-sized enterprises will further promote business investment in discovery science and explore important topics including green packaging and sustainable manufacturing,” Bourne said. 

In its 2022 thematic report into ESG in telecoms and technology, research analyst GlobalData described climate change as both a challenge and an opportunity for the technology sector. 

Creating partnerships like these can help businesses meet decarbonisation targets, whilst also developing research and talent for the future.  

Citing a report authored by the Universal Ecological Fund entitled The Truth Behind the Climate Pledges, GlobalData reaffirms that a failure to reduce emissions could eventually cost businesses up to $2bn per day by 2030 due to extreme weather. 

Similar concerns have also been raised by economist and Harvard professor Dr. Rebecca Henderson, who has encouraged businesses to realign their purpose with decarbonisation and supporting the global community.