Against the backdrop of the UK government’s continued emphasis on using innovation to drive economic growth, QinetiQ announced the creation of the UK’s first professorship in technology transfer in the physical sciences. The £1 M professorship, which is jointly funded by QinetiQ and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), has been awarded to Imperial College London.

The professor’s role will be to lead academic research to establish reliable mechanisms, which develop wealth-creating products and services from physics-based sciences. An appointment will be announced in spring 2006 to commence in September 2006. The professorship is one element of an extensive programme of university collaboration announced by QinetiQ. Building on existing links with universities in the UK and overseas, the defence and security technology company has launched a university partnership programme to provide new market opportunities for university science and technology through joint bidding, joint programmes of work and the sharing of resources.

Professor John O’Reilly, chief executive of EPSRC, added, “The UK produces research of international quality in a range of disciplines, from maths to materials science, and from IT to structural engineering, and there is an increasing need to accelerate the translation of the knowledge generated into innovation. This new professorship will ensure that the UK’s ability to transfer research into technological change becomes an even more effective driver of the knowledge economy in the future.”