University of Leicester: Building innovation communities

January 30, 2024
min read
William Wells of Leicester University

From the invention of one of the most important discoveries in UK scientific research, genetic fingerprinting, to creating the first British degree in mass communications.

From identifying supermassive black holes, to uncovering the remains of King Richard III.

The list of the extraordinary range of fields which the University of Leicester has contributed to is vast.

William Wells, Deputy Director Research and Enterprise Division, spoke to Innovative Leicestershire about why the University has again lent its support to the Leicestershire Innovation Festival. 

Why is innovation important to your organisation?

Innovation is an integral part of the University of Leicester - from our history, to our current achievements, to our future breakthroughs.

As a research-intensive university, we recognise our critical role in driving innovation, creating innovative businesses, and working with businesses in the community to grow the regional and national economy.

We are proud to support the Leicestershire Innovation Festival and celebrate those individuals and businesses who are leading the way when it comes to innovation, and research and development in the region. 

We are committed to improving the productivity and resilience of businesses and SMEs and working with them to share innovation expertise.

Collaboration is key to growing, developing and creating a sustainable future.

It's why projects and funding that bring together industry and academic partners are central to achieving together.

How does your organisation encourage innovation?

 We offer a wide range of services and support to encourage innovation including:

  • Help to Grow: Management programme;
  • A range of funded support for businesses of all sizes;
  • Access to our student and graduate talent;
  • Bespoke training and CPD;
  • Research, consultancy, and knowledge transfer projects.

The theme this year ‘Small Change, Big Impact’ - can you provide an example from UoL?

Leicester is one of the world’s fastest growing space clusters and Space Park Leicester is forecast to contribute £750 million per year to the UK space sector over the next decade. It is expected to support more than 2,500 jobs in the East Midlands.

To help the industry’s businesses continue to expand and develop, Space Park Leicester launched a free networking event called Cosmic Coffee. 

Cosmic Coffee is a monthly event designed to provide a platform for those working in and around the space community in the Midlands.

They come together to share ideas and receive updates – this has had a great impact on bringing the community together.

Register now for 20+ free innovation events

Get involved with Innovative Leicestershire

Collaboration is fundamental to achieving our goals. If you are interested in becoming part of what we are doing then there are a host of ways to get involved, from attending an event to relocating your organisation.

Innovative Leicestershire team