It works with more than 450 companies every year – from start-ups to multi-nationals – sharing its expertise and equipment to help them solve problems or grow.
It is on this basis Sheffield Hallam University claims to play a ‘pivotal role’ in the regional economy. And its importance is likely to grow as the economy picks up and following calls through the Witty report and others to bring universities into the heart of the economy.
Major companies beat a path to its door for tailored courses including Network Rail, Rolls-Royce, Nestlé, Heinz and Pepsico.
At the other end of the scale its entrepreneurial ethos encourages graduates to take their first steps into business.
The university is committed to developing “practical, measurable and commercially-focused” solutions, according to Lloyd Snellgrove, director of the university’s research and innovation office.
He added: “We have had great success, over a number of years, in parachuting graduates into companies to work under our expert supervision on critical projects under the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships scheme.
Our first such partnership was back in 1986, and since then we have had 152 successful KTPs, and won five major awards for them.
“Although Sheffield Hallam competes at a global level, we are proud of the fact that we also play a pivotal role in driving our regional economy.
“We are continually striving to build on our partnerships with major corporates in the region, and to find innovative ways to collaborate with local SMEs.
“In many cases our relationships with these companies stretch far beyond one project, and we are able to support their business strategy in a number of creative ways.
“We also play a key role in the creation of new companies in the region. With the university’s enterprising ethos it is not surprising that many of our students and graduates are keen to set up their own business.”
Innovation Futures, the university’s R&D and consultancy service, was a risk-free, no-nonsense way to obtain some expert advice, he added. Other companies Hallam has worked with include Quorn, Tinsley Bridge, Network Rail and Mott Macdonald.