Universities, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange

Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, shared his expert knowledge in innovation and knowledge exchange with an audience of university leaders and representatives from Chinese government and industry at the British Embassy, Beijing this week.

Professor McMillan explained how government, universities and private companies can work together to create the best conditions for technology transfer and knowledge exchange, drawing on the findings of the McMillan Review - which was lead by Professor McMillan and adopted by the UK government - and concluded that UK universities are internationally competitive in their technology transfer practices.

Professor McMillan also discussed the important role that universities play in promoting regional economic growth, as well as sharing examples of innovation happening at Keele University in the fields of smart energy and the environment, medical technology and medical care in the community.

Speaking at the British Embassy, Professor McMillan said:

“Universities have a unique role to play in supporting and enabling knowledge exchange. The expertise and ideas within universities, when transferred successfully into industry, lead to outcomes that benefit the economy and society as a whole. We need to have clear engagement opportunities and access points for businesses and others to the technology and expertise within our universities, so that it may be shared as widely as possible.”

As part of a week-long visit, Professor McMillan and colleagues from Keele University are meeting with university leaders at Tongji, Shanghai Jiaotong, Guangzhou, and Beijing Foreign Studies Universities, and with representatives from the Chinese government, including the Ministry of Education. Professor McMillan and colleagues will be building on partnership opportunities between the UK and China, and sharing best-practice examples around technology transfer, knowledge exchange, and how universities can make significant contributions to their regions.

Keele University plays a significant role in promoting regional economic growth in the UK, with a £70 million investment plan to tackle low productivity and grow a positive culture of innovation and research within the region.