Dr Dapeng Hu and Avinoam Baruc, research development and enterprise leads for FloodMap Live.

Dr Dapeng Yu and Avinoam Baruch; research development and enterprise leads for FloodMap Live.

University is part of major initiative set to accelerate innovation in the Midlands

Loughborough is part of the UK’s largest collaboration between university technology transfer offices, launched today by Midlands Innovation to attract investment and management talent to the region.

The Midlands Innovation Commercialisation of Research Accelerator (MICRA) will share best practice and resources across technology transfer offices in the universities of Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick – where academics generate more new inventions and patents per unit of research income than any other UK universities group.

MICRA will support the development of licensing opportunities and spin-out companies, helping them to obtain partners, finance and expertise, and accelerating the rate at which innovations are able to be commercialised.

At the launch event at The University of Birmingham, Alice Frost, Director of Knowledge Exchange at Research England, said: “Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund is investing in 18 projects to demonstrate the world-class commercialisation practised in our universities.

"This includes MICRA - an ambitious project bringing together the largest formal technology transfer collaboration in the country, with benefits for research, the Midlands area and for delivering the Government’s Industrial Strategy and 2.4% target.”

Helen Turner, Director of Midlands Innovation, said: “By working together MICRA aims to attract large ‘patient capital’ investors who are willing to back new ideas.  People with vision and management talent who understand the potential for success in our region.”

Several of Loughborough University’s innovations with high commercial potential are being supported under the MICRA initiative. They include FloodMap Live which delivers street-level real-time flood prediction to protect lives and livelihoods.

Set up in over 40 cities in the UK and across the globe, the system will operate in real-time within The Cabinet Office’s data portal for London, Leicester, Manchester and Birmingham by the end of 2018, delivering street level flood predictions for emergency responders. Readily scalable for any population centre worldwide, the technology is being supported by Innovate UK’s iCURE programme.