Northern Accelerator has been shortlisted for Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 2019.

These are the 15th annual THE Awards and are widely known as the “Oscars of higher education”. The winners will be announced at a celebration on Thursday 28 November.

Northern Accelerator’s shortlisted entry reflects the tangible results already achieved by the collaboration between Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Sunderland universities. Having set out to create a step-change in research commercialisation in the North East, thus benefiting the region’s economy, the rate of university spin-out businesses has increased from an average of 1.8 per year in the five years preceding Northern Accelerator, to 10 spin-outs in the 2018-19 academic year. Northern Accelerator has so far created 18 promising new businesses, placed 15 talented chief executives into spin-outs and funded 20 academics to take their research outcomes closer to commercialisation.

THE editor John Gill said of the awards: “The THE Awards hold a place in the hearts of many in UK higher education and have now been a fixture in the its calendar for well over a decade. This year we decided to incorporate the complementary strengths of our THE Leadership and Management Awards, so that the range of categories better reflects the reality of how universities operate today, and the interwoven nature of so much of what they do. I am delighted to say that the ‘Oscars of higher education’ go from strength to strength. With 23 categories this year, we’re also showcasing more exceptional stories than ever before, and it’s a real honour for us to shine a spotlight on all those who have made it as far as these shortlists – their stories deserve much wider circulation.”