THE University of Huddersfield has won a top entrepreneurial award.
The award was presented at the Times Higher Education Awards 2012.
Prof Liz Towns-Andrews, the university’s 3M chair of Innovation, collected the prize at the ‘Oscars-style’ event held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, with comedian David Walliams compering the evening.
The university was commended by the judges for its “entrepreneurial outlook championed at the highest levels of the institution.”
Prof Towns-Andrews said: “Every university wants to be known as being entrepreneurial and so I am absolutely delighted that we have won the coveted UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year.
“This is a truly outstanding achievement and I am tremendously proud of the staff and students here at Huddersfield.”
On hearing the news, the entrepreneur and Huddersfield Honorary Doctor holder Theo Paphitis tweeted ‘Absolutely brilliant! A big congratulations and well done to all.’
And the university’s vice-chancellor, Prof Bob Cryan, added: “It was a major event with over 1,000 attendees and the shortlist included Edinburgh and Strathclyde so we are all tremendously proud! Every university wants to be known as entrepreneurial.
“We have placed a strong emphasis on enterprise and innovation for a number of years and this has flourished through the creation of a supportive infrastructure and the appointment of key personnel.
“We are now starting to reap the rewards of this investment and are becoming nationally recognised as a truly ‘business-facing’ university.”
The university’s submission highlighted the emphasis placed on enterprise and innovation and featured the £8m EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Advanced Metrology and the £12m 3M Buckley Innovation Centre.
Prof Towns-Andrews was the inspiration and motivation behind the development of the Innovation Centre which is now up and running and designed to forge greater links between universities, research institutes and the world of business.
The Innovation Centre opened its doors in July this year and was named after the former 3M CEO Sir George Buckley, who is a Huddersfield University graduate.
Entrepreneur and businessman Graham Leslie was appointed as its first Entrepreneur in Residence and Professor of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and its Managing Director is Patrick Allen, who led the successful re-branding of the Co-operative chain to become one of the most go-ahead retailers in Britain.