Kick starting technology: what universities can do

27th January 2010
Kick starting technology: what universities can do
Top left to right, Richard, Dawson, Narasimha, Anandan, Chandra on the panel. Bottom Vice Chancellor Alison Richard speaks at IISc, Bangalore

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore has joined hands with the United Kingdom Science and Innovation Network and the India Office of the UK Research Council to foster research and innovation partnerships. Flowing from this is a series of lectures throughout 2010, which were kicked off by Peter Mandelson, UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Skills. We bring you the full text of the second lecture in the series by Alison Richard, Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University which was delivered at IISc on January 12. Her talk that was followed by a stimulating panel in which she was joined by Sandra Dawson, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Cambridge University,  Microsoft Research India's Managing Director P. Anandan, and Indian Institute of Management - Bangalore Director, Pankaj Chandra with aerospace veteran Roddam Narasimha, chairing.

Cambridge is the epicentre of one of the most successful Infotech clusters in the world – and for this reason alone, Prof Richard’s talk is an important document,  a template for industry-academia collaboration in Information Technology.

Catalysing Innovation: the role of universities
Professor Alison Richard
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge

Indian Institute of Science
12 January 2010

It is a great honour to be here, and I would like to thank Professor Balaram (Director IISc) and Professor John Beddington, the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, for inviting me to give this lecture in the UK Science in India lecture series. I would also like to wish the IISc a very happy Hundredth Birthday. My observation is that, far from being 100 years old, you are 100 years young – but I guess you could expect a Vice-Chancellor celebrating her university’s 800th anniversary would prefer to think of it in those terms!

The lecture series was inaugurated some weeks ago by Lord Mandelson, the UK’s First Secretary of State, and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, who spoke of the shared desire of the UK and India to invest in science and innovation for the benefit of our societies. He spoke too of the mutual benefit that will derive from entering upon that task in the spirit of collaboration that characterises our modern relationship. I offer this first lecture as a transition between Lord Mandelson’s remarks on the value of innovation, and the future lectures in this series which will focus more explicitly on particular areas of science.

1) Innovation and the national interest
The roll call of countries where innovation and the national interest go hand in hand grows longer by the year; considering briefly the cases of the UK and India, I will suggest that the historical and societal contexts for this linkage are quite distinct – but that the opportunities and challenges bring us together in pursuit of a shared goal.

2) The purposes of universities
Universities have a growing responsibility to serve society through innovation. That responsibility is firmly embedded in UK universities today, I will argue, as one of three historic strands contributing to our overall mission in the twenty-first century.

3) Spotlight on universities as innovators Universities at the centre of the world’s most important innovation clusters share several attributes. I will use the case of Cambridge to illustrate what I judge to be key characteristics.

4) International collaboration in innovation I will conclude my lecture by returning to Lord Mandelson’s introduction and pursue, from a university perspective, his general theme of UK-India partnership and collaboration.

I cannot begin, however, without first venturing a definition of innovation, and I am fortunate that India’s National Knowledge Commission has done the job for me:

Innovation is a process to achieve measurable value enhancement in any commercial activity, through introduction of new or improved goods, services, operational and organisational processes.
Universities of course would also emphasise the initial discovery stages -- the antecedents of ‘commercial activity’ -- as well as the process of translation of a discovery into the marketplace and into use. Let us note, too, that the enhanced value brought by innovation is to the benefit of society as well as the economy, strictly construed. The two – economy and society – are inescapably linked, but they are not the same.
1. Innovation and the national interest
As the transformative power of innovation becomes more widely recognized around the world, the capacity to innovate is increasingly valued and sought after by nations, including the UK and India.

The United Kingdom The UK’s standing in innovation reflects strongly the long-term, intellectual input generated by universities and research institutes. In November 2006, the UK’s then Chancellor of the Exchequer (now Prime Minister) commissioned Lord Sainsbury, the distinguished former Minister of Science, to undertake a review of UK science and innovation and recommend enhancements. In his review, published under the title Race to the Top, Lord Sainsbury commented that the UK’s showing is not strong on two of the most commonly used measures of innovation performance -- the quantity of industrial research and the volume of patenting. But in terms of cutting-edge, knowledge-intensive research the UK is among the best. I quote:

“Research outputs from publicly funded R&D remain of a very high standard. On the latest data (2004), the UK was ranked second in the world to the USA in its share of world publications (9 per cent) and world citations (12 per cent). The UK is a more consistent performer across the range of research disciplines than most other countries, ranking second in the world in seven of the ten disciplines.”

The UK’s publicly-funded scientists, then, are highly productive. Overwhelmingly located in universities, though, they do not contribute to statistics measuring industrial research, and only a proportion of them actively patent their discoveries.

When these observations are coupled with today’s renewed appreciation of the importance of manufacturing in the UK – highlighted by Lord Mandelson’s speeches here and in Delhi -- interesting possibilities emerge. In Lord Sainsbury’s words:

“The fact that production may allow the capture of value from new ideas can sometimes be overlooked – particularly where production is seen as a “standardised” or commodity activity. But early development of production capability may provide a more rapid and protectable route to market.”

The UK’s challenge, then, is to strengthen and diversify the channels along which university research outputs can flow and improve the two-way communication between universities and industry, in support of the renewal of a flourishing and innovative manufacturing capacity.

India I would not presume to enter into a full comparative analysis of India and UK, but let me cite the description given by Dr Sam Pitroda, Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission, of the challenges he sees for India:

• Disparity (of class, gender, and urban or rural location),
• Demography (keeping young people productive and educated) and
• Development (increasing the pace)

Dr Pitroda emphasises that innovation has an important part to play in confronting all three challenges. The approach in each case is to deploy the great talents of India’s people in moving to high-value goods and services, using innovation to catalyse progress.

My broader point, then, is that as we enter the 21st century together, with our distinct histories, harnessing new knowledge in the service of society is a goal and a challenge we have in common. It will be a source of competition, and that’s healthy, but surely we can also learn from one another’s experience, share expertise, and seize the opportunities to complement each other’s strengths and collaborate.

Universities have vital roles to play in innovation and collaborative endeavours alike.
Three historic developments contribute to the identity and purposes of universities today, and it is important to recognize all three.

The earliest is a medieval residential strand, originating in England, which emphasizes education and the co-residence of students and teachers. Cardinal John Henry Newman elaborated this idea in a famous and influential series of lectures in 1854, in which he celebrated the idea of universities as pinnacles of elevated thought and pure academic endeavour. Less edifyingly, he also declared that “Useful knowledge is a deal of trash” – an assertion I trust needs no rebuttal from me today!
A second strand was woven into the fabric of universities at the start of the nineteenth century, when Wilhelm von Humboldt founded the University of Berlin and clearly united research with teaching in its mission. Humboldt believed that an important societal role of universities was to produce specialists, who would work to find solutions to problems in the world.
The third strand comes from the American land-grant universities, established under the Morrill Act of 1862. The Act granted defined areas of federal land to individual US states, and required them to use that land, or the proceeds of its sale, to fund colleges of higher education. The mandate was explicit: these institutions were to focus on advanced teaching, in the particular areas of agriculture, science and engineering, and they were to establish the clearest possible link between higher education and economic benefit – communicating innovations to those who would deploy them as practical tools, and engaging with those outside academia.
In the UK and around the world, universities vary in the emphasis they place on each of these strands. I see the three vividly present in my own University. Of course they give rise to tensions, as competing ideas will do, but they also underpin Cambridge’s rich diversity and vitality, and we are determined to continue to celebrate and nurture all three – residential education, the integral linkage of education and training with research, and the efficient dissemination of university activities for the benefit of society.

In order to give real encouragement to activities in the third strand, the UK government has made special funding competitively available to encourage university activities which engage with people and institutions outside academia. At Cambridge, we have used this funding to support initiatives ranging from the expansion of our technology transfer office, Cambridge Enterprise – about which I shall say more later - to the Cambridge Science Festival, an annual public outreach event. We have also been the beneficiaries of a major government investment in a long-term partnership with MIT – the Cambridge MIT Institute. Together, we developed new ways for universities and industry to build relationships with one another and improve the speed and efficiency with which discoveries and ideas flow – and we shared the outcomes with other universities and the private sector.
Targeted funding provides an important and welcome stimulus to a particular range of activities, but these activities are just a subset of the total landscape of university engagement with innovation.

Three years ago, I was introduced to the work of the late Donald Stokes, formerly Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. I found his ideas illuminating; they are highly pertinent to my lecture today, and I will use them as a point of departure for my remarks about universities as innovators.

In his 1997 book Pasteur’s Quadrant, Stokes challenges the common distinction made between basic and applied research. He couldn’t see where Louis Pasteur’s microbiological research fit in such a dichotomous universe since, as he says, “no-one can doubt that Pasteur sought a fundamental understanding of the process of disease… but there is also no doubt that he sought this understanding to reach the applied goals of preventing spoilage in milk, and of conquering anthrax, cholera and rabies”.

Rejecting the simple dichotomy between “useful” and “not useful” research, Stokes proposes a third conception of research -- “basic research with consideration of use”. Stokes illustrates his point with a simple two x two diagram, thereby creating “Pasteur’s quadrant” – and the title of his book.

Missing from this diagram, however, is the dimension of time. With national economic interests driving public funding toward research with an immediate impact, the assessment of impact has become a matter of importance. Indeed, a great debate is currently raging in the UK about this very issue. The debate’s intensity reflects the fact that the distribution of government funding for research will be influenced by its outcome. One axis of the debate concerns differences between disciplines, and what to do about that: it is typically easier for engineering to demonstrate impact than biology, easier for biology than law, and easier for law than for philosophy. Yet no one – I think! – would use this as a basis for abolishing all disciplines except engineering.

It is time, however, that constitutes the single most critical issue in the debate. When the elapsed time between research and commercial activity is short, impact is relatively easy to measure. As distance in time between the two increases, it becomes harder – not because the impact is less but because the elapsed time makes it more difficult to attribute a particular output to a particular input – to trace the journey from an idea or discovery to a transformational change in the way we live or think. In general, the “translation” of fundamental research takes longest to occur.

These considerations lead me to propose a modest variant of Stokes’ diagram. Rotating it through 45 degrees reveals the important temporal axis of his ideas.

My general point is that research-intensive universities are pre-eminently of, and for, the long haul. It is absolutely critical to their continued health, vitality, and contributions to society that their impact be viewed accordingly. I would like to illustrate my point with a specific example.

In the mid 1980s in the Cavendish laboratories in the Department of Physics at Cambridge, Professor Richard Friend began a direction of research which has now resulted in the creation of two high-tech companies – but as he says: “my interest was pure curiosity”. His initial research was about understanding how electrons might be made to move in carbon-based semiconductors: commercial use was far from his mind – but when he discovered a light-emitting polymer, he asked the University for help in protecting his Intellectual Property. It turned out that no company then existing was appropriate to take the idea forward, so, with the University’s help, he started his own.

The first company he created was Cambridge Display Technology (CDT), to develop what are now called Polymer Organic Light-Emitting Diodes. Using this technology, displays can be created by dissolving the polymers into a solution and printing them onto a surface. The relationship between the commercial spin-out company and the University remains very close: over the years, ideas moved from the University lab to CDT, and in return the lab had access to materials and methods that CDT had developed. This synergy helped push the fundamental research along much faster than would have been possible if Richard Friend and his academic colleagues had had to do everything in the University.
His research group’s second, related invention was an effective polymer-based transistor. Development of that invention also got to the point where the greatest progress was likely to be made in a well-focused industrial environment. In consequence, he founded Plastic Logic, a company which now has an electronic reader commercially released last Thursday as the QUE: Like the products with which it now competes, it is as thin and light as a pad of paper – but unlike others, its display screen is made of shatterproof plastic

Plastic Logic has raised more than 200 million US dollars in venture capital to build a large manufacturing plant in Germany. Its corporate headquarters are in California, and its research and development department remains in Cambridge – a truly global undertaking. It now has over 200 employees. I do not know whether it will compete successfully – though you can guess my biased prediction! I give this example primarily to illustrate the long and to some extent serendipitous pathways whereby fundamental research undertaken in a university can create real value for society – social and environmental value, as well as the more obvious economic impact.

Impact can take time, sometimes a long time. How can we help things along? I will focus my answer on Cambridge, mostly because I like to be concrete and it’s the university I know best, but also because of our strong track record in innovation.

Plastic Logic was helped on its journey from the research lab to the marketplace by Cambridge Enterprise. Cambridge Enterprise (CE) operates simultaneously as a department of the University of Cambridge, and as a limited company, wholly-owned by the University. The structure of the organisation is shown in the slide: it combines the functions of consultancy, technology transfer, and seed fund investment. I know that the IISc has an office with similar functions, but I believe that some here today may be less familiar with the important role of such offices in the life of many universities today.
The stated objective of Cambridge Enterprise is to help University of Cambridge inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of society, the UK economy, the inventors and the University. The order is important: a new drug which might help society, for example, would be helped to market regardless of whether it might make a financial profit for the UK or for the University. The University has the initial right to apply for a patent for inventions resulting from research by University staff using University facilities. If a patent is applied for, with the consent of the inventor, then the costs and administration of patent and licensing applications are borne by Cambridge Enterprise, and CE’s staff provide advice and guide the project. The inventor can choose to buy out the University’s rights to patent, and take ownership of the IP – in other words, our Tech Transfer office has to compete for business, which it has done very successfully. The route to commercialisation depends on whether the inventor wishes to stay involved in the development; and whether there is a large potential market. The outcome may be that the technology is licensed to an existing company – there are currently 500 active licence agreements covering University of Cambridge inventions. If a suitable partner does not already exist, a new company may be created, as in the case of CDT and Plastic Logic. Importantly for academics, they can still publish results in journals, after patenting.

Through Cambridge Enterprise, the University manages its own seed funds which invest in new businesses created by our academic staff. In the last decade, our seed funds have made 47 investments in early-stage companies employing a total of 1,700 people; and 36 of those companies have, between them, raised £456 million in further investment, and £19.5 million in grant funding. Even during the economic downturn prevailing last year, the companies in the portfolio raised £62 million – a strong testament to their future potential. 22 of the 47 have made sales of finished products, marking the successful transfer of technology from the University into public or business use.

In today’s universities, then, more and more academics work closely with private sector partners, and more and more attention is given to supporting the prompt transfer of discoveries into the market. “Innovation ecosystems” with research universities at their core are emerging around the world as a result.

The phenomenon of these high-tech and bio-tech clusters is exciting. In addition to being innovation outcomes, clusters are drivers of innovation, and so it is important to understand the conditions needed for them to become established and flourish. Cambridge University has been the nucleus of Europe’s most significant IT and biotechnology clusters, developing over several decades. The University’s relative prominence has properly diminished as the clusters have attained critical mass, but we still provide a magnetic field of attraction -- for companies and for talented individuals.

The University transfers knowledge out from its laboratories, and it also attracts investment in – over 600 separate research contracts with private sector companies were on our books last year. But funding arrangements are not the primary point.

Permeable boundaries and strong partnerships with the private sector make it easier for people as well as ideas to move, they increase the scale and breadth of activities far beyond anything the university could support alone, and they make the university a much more exciting place. That’s the real point.

The scale of our cluster is described in a 2006 Report by Library House, an independent consultancy: if both the University and the cluster did not exist, then the total economic impact for the UK would mean the “need to find up to an Net Present Value of £57.5 billion in replacement Gross Domestic Product, and 154,000 jobs” – because the cluster companies create value and jobs inside and outside the cluster. Such numbers are notional of course, but the size of the number reflects how closely the University is woven into the UK economy.
These developments took place in and around the city of Cambridge because there was a great university providing a deep well of fundamental research, ideas and people, and because of a handful of remarkable individuals, some of them not directly connected with the University at all. The University remains at the heart of the cluster, both geographically and chronologically – and it creates and mediates relationships between other members. Over time, at the national level, Government policies have encouraged university innovation by providing “third stream funding”, creating University Challenge Funds to support new ventures at different stages, and competitively awarding Entrepreneurship Centres to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship at undergraduate and graduate levels.
Early successes created a snowball effect – this slide of Shai Vyakarnam’s, beginning in 1960 and tracking landmark new developments until 2000, illustrates something of the complexity!

• In 1960 Cambridge Consultants Ltd was founded, “to put the brains of Cambridge University at the disposal of the problems of British industry”.
• CAD (Computer-Aided Design) followed in the 1970s, then Acorn Computers in the 1980s: these big early successes served both as role model and magnet
• Science Parks (shown in red) are important and get a lot of attention but are only part of the story

Surveying the scene in and around the city of Cambridge, I am struck by how different are the reasons companies have had for locating activity there – consider just three:
- Microsoft Research set up their European R&D lab in Cambridge for a very personal reason – they identified a star individual, Professor Roger Needham, and built their UK presence around him.
- Genzyme, one of the leading biotechnology companies, saw Cambridge as the best place in Europe to tap into early-stage drug discoveries
- Nokia is moving into a building in West Cambridge at the heart of the University’s new science campus. Nokia came because they recognised Cambridge’s breadth. They sought simply to place themselves in an ideas-rich environment, in the certain expectation of exciting developments across a broad front.
Nokia’s motivation comes very close to universities’ own way of innovating. We look to put old problems in new contexts; we look for fusions between ideas which were previously thought to be disparate, we cross boundaries.

Although my “we” here refers to universities and my remarks have been largely cast in institutional terms, whether universities or corporate partners, let me emphasise anew that the most important dynamic involves people. This slide takes the example of Acorn, founded in 1978 by two Cambridge entrepreneurs, Hermann Hauser and Chris Curry, and plots the paths followed by its ex-employees, and the companies they went on to create.

Many of the names shown here are closely connected with the University, though their formal relationships take a range of forms. The most effective entrepreneurs seem to move in between academia and industry with ease, and it is in everyone’s interest that they do so.

In summary, let me suggest four characteristics shared by universities at the centre of major innovation ecosystems – and that certainly hold true for Cambridge:

(1) a tenacious hold on all three strands of our mission: a university that mistakes itself for a corporation not only sacrifices its full mission but loses its one real advantage as a partner -- its differentness and, as a result, the uniqueness of its contributions;
(2) a clear appreciation of the long haul, and of the value of fundamental research;
(3) great flexibility, to accommodate both companies and individual academics with a wide range of motivations for what they do; and
(4) permeable boundaries, with the policies and practical infrastructure to support the movement of discoveries and people across them.

The idea of permeable boundaries – which I have been using primarily in the context of academia and industry – leads me directly to the last theme of my lecture, the opportunities for international collaboration in innovation.

4. International collaboration in innovation

International research collaborations are burgeoning – indeed, there are many between the IISc and UK universities, including Cambridge – and stunning innovations are among their outcomes. I believe that there is a great opportunity to foster more training and education in this context, and I offer my concluding remarks accordingly.

For India, focused on building a knowledge economy and expanding its higher education provision as part of that effort, there are great opportunities for partnership with UK universities. These opportunities are wide-ranging, not least because UK universities are themselves diverse, differing in age, size, history, student body makeup, and in the combination and types of teaching and research we do. Although all UK universities have broad portfolios of activity, some are more regional in focus, others more international; some emphasize research, others concentrate more on teaching; and a few specialise by subject.

A bird’s eye view of this institutional diversity, as well as the range of activities, is captured in a 2009 report entitled Knowledge Exchange between Academics and the Business, Public and Third Sectors.

The red line represents the UK’s youngest universities, and the blue line the older, research-intensive universities. Through activities such as enterprise education, student placements, and advisory roles to industry, younger universities have a predominant impact on their region, [SLIDE] whereas the older, research-intensive universities are typically more directly international in their activity portfolio. Both emphases, surely, have important relevance here in India.

Against this back-drop, as UK universities increase their involvement in India I anticipate a whole array of “best fits” between the strengths, interests and ambitions of UK universities on the one hand, and the needs and opportunities here.

I return now to training and education specifically. Consider the mobile phone handset. As we know, all the technological components of the mobile phone handset existed well before the mobile phone revolution was launched -- the seeds of innovation often come from re combining existing technology in new ways. That is a lesson for potential entrepreneurs, but it is also a lesson for the providers of training and education: integrating learning across boundaries – international as well as disciplinary -- helps nurture an innovative mindset.
At Cambridge, we are putting that perspective into practice in ways that are becoming a part of everyday life. I will give three quick examples, each with an “India connection”.

The Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing – IfM - led by Professor Mike Gregory, brings together education, research and industrial engagement with a very broad view of manufacturing involving R&D, Design, Production, Distribution, Service and Sustainability. It is a view that highlights the importance of innovation at every stage of the “value chain” and emphasizes the critical links between the stages. Last July, 37 graduate students studying at IfM spent 12 days visiting more than 20 of India's leading manufacturing companies, industrial associations and support agencies to better understand India’s manufacturing “value chains”. They went to Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune -- here is one of our students at Tata Motors, delighted to have found a Tata Nano that matches his T-shirt.

IfM staff and students gained first hand insights into the rapid growth and capability of Indian manufacturing, and they also identified new opportunities for collaboration between Indian and UK industries and universities. Boundary-crossing, international study trips like this are becoming a regular aspect of training and education in a growing number of fields at many universities.

My second example is entrepreneurship education targeted at all students, not only at students who follow courses related to innovation.

Dr. Shai Vyakarnam, the entrepreneurial head of the Cambridge Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, runs an array of innovative programs with his colleagues. They organise free evening lectures by visiting entrepreneurs (including entrepreneurial academics) open to all students in the University: 1600 students sign up for these lectures annually – and not for course credits! The Centre runs a 4-day residential programme, and a week-long summer school – called IGNITE -- for those who already have a technology-related business idea. Each year there are participants from India who use this summer school to fast-track their business ideas – and bring an additional international dimension to the mix. A regular visitor to India, Shai has been talking to the Confederation of Indian Industry about the possibility of bringing the summer school here.

My third example is the newly formed Centre for India and Global Business (CIGB), based at Judge Business School and focused on India’s growing role in the world economy.

This Centre too has Indian leadership – Professor Jaideep Prabhu (the Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business and Enterprise) and Mr Navi Radjou who serves as Executive Director. Three themes predominate in their work: 1) the growing magnetism of India as a global R&D hub for multinational companies, 2) the globalisation of Indian firms, and 3) collaboration between multinationals, Indian firms and entrepreneurial individuals to develop innovation from the grass-roots up.

The Centre organizes events in India and the UK that reflect on this research and engage with other academic, business and policy leaders with an interest in these issues.

The event I personally most wish I could have attended this year was a conference called “The Globalisation of Indian Cinema”, which featured leading actor Anupam Kher and film experts from India and the UK – Bollywood comes not only to Hollywood, but to Pinewood as well!

Activity that is boundary-crossing, in every sense, is on the rise at most universities, and India is increasingly a magnet for that activity. Historically, however, the pattern of international activity between India and the West has been overwhelmingly in the other direction. As Lord Mandelson reminded us, more than a quarter of the IT and software companies in the US have been founded by Indian emigrants. In her detailed study of the development of Silicon Valley, AnnaLee Saxenian of the University of California, Berkeley, shows how strongly it was fuelled by the energies and talents of young, entrepreneurial Indians. Today, she points out, many of these no-longer-so-young, entrepreneurial Indians are returning to India, attracted by the opportunities here. She calls this “brain circulation”, and holds it out as a refutation of the idea of “brain drain”.

Quite so, but one might remark that the circulation has not been brisk. If your best innovators and entrepreneurs spend the best twenty years of their lives overseas, then of course you welcome them when they come home, but how much better if more spent their best twenty years here.

Developments in Higher Education have a key role to play in catalysing change. The challenge clearly articulated by the Government of India is to double India’s higher education provision and substantially increase and diversify its capabilities. Here, surely, are real opportunities for innovation in international collaboration. UK universities are already bringing their own particular know-how and experience to the Indian table, and we can expect to see new approaches in addition to established models.

For my part, I would like Cambridge’s joint-working with academic and industry partners to focus on scaling-up India’s capacity to offer irresistibly high-quality and exciting, advanced training opportunities to outstandingly talented Indian students. This cannot happen in a vacuum. It needs to be embedded in a high-quality research environment at the heart of a dynamic innovation ecosystem. Cambridge has proved pretty good at doing this at home, and I believe we can help build programmes here – brain training instead of brain draining, in other words! Initiatives could take several forms, focusing on areas where India has high ambitions and great needs: energy, healthcare, sustainable engineering, materials, and high-end manufacturing all spring to mind.

In closing, I would like to say that as an academic for three decades and a university leader in recent years, my experience tells me that partnerships are not easy to pull off, but when they work they crackle with intellectual interest and excitement, and they bring great benefits – some anticipated, some not. I am confident that the UK and India can use partnership models to promote innovation -- and as a form of innovation in their own right. In so doing we can bring real enhancements, to our economies and societies.

January 28 2010