Bristol Innovations project aims to boost business by harnessing university’s research prowess

June 24, 2022

The University of Bristol is to combine its far-reaching research expertise with the industry know-how of major global partners under a new project launched today which will also be the first to open on its new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus.

Called Bristol Innovations, it will be a virtual network designed to increase opportunities for university academics, researchers and entrepreneurial students to collaborate with third-party stakeholders to take their research into the real world. 

It aims to build on the university’s reputation as a thriving powerhouse for world-leading research and innovation. According to the latest Research Excellence Framework, 94% of its research is world-leading or internationally excellent – which prompted the Times Higher Education to boost Bristol to fifth place for research in the UK.

Bristol Innovations was launched today at the university’s new research and innovation hub on the Enterprise Campus next to Temple Meads railway station.

The first phase of the building, which opens next month, will be home to the Bristol Digital Futures Institute (BDFI), an international university research institute that is pioneering transformative approaches to digital innovation.

MyWorld a University of Bristol-led programme for creative technologies, will join BDFI in the hub next year. This will be the first facility to open as part of the new campus.

MyWorld has a creative mission to showcase the latest advances in digital production and research.

University of Bristol vice-chancellor Prof Hugh Brady said: “The global landscape for research and innovation is undergoing rapid changes, which presents an opportunity for universities and industry to develop a more sustainable way forward.

“Bristol Innovations is an enormously exciting undertaking. It will allow us to support more academics to bring our world-class research to practical and meaningful applications that benefit the city, the region and the world.”

The university said Bristol Innovations would be supported by the Bristol Grid – the university’s digital hub for entrepreneurial activities – and would enhance its efforts to apply its knowledge and expertise “for the benefit of millions of people across the world”.

This includes working with industry partners to identify and respond to social and economic needs; exploring new spin-out and start-up opportunities; investing in more resources for business development; offering more consultancy and licencing opportunities; and working with third parties through knowledge exchange, public engagement and research commercialisation.

Associate pro vice-chancellor for enterprise and innovation Prof Michele Barbour added: “In recent years the university has seen a rapid increase in enterprise and innovation activity.

“This growth has served to inspire other members of the academic community to consider this route as means to realise the impact of their research, and a growing enthusiasm to engage with the enterprise agenda.”

The Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus includes a number of planned developments across 16 acres at the heart of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

The principle academic building on Cattle Market Road will be home to 4,600 students and 1,000 university staff, business and community partners and the residential accommodation on Temple Island will provide for 950 students.

The campus will also help join the city centre to the east of Bristol, with new walking and cycling paths – including a new eastern entrance from Temple Meads station – and deliver an estimated £626m of employment and financial benefit to the regional economy over the next decade. The main construction build on the Cattle Market Road site is anticipated to get underway next April.

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