HEFCE announced last week that in 2010-11 UK universities contributed £3.3 billion to the economy through services to business, including commercialisation of new knowledge, delivery of professional training, consultancy and services, a rise of 7% from 2009-10.
Interestingly HEFCE note that despite wider economic uncertainty, spending on university services by large business increased by 7% indicating that universities are stimulating public growth and contributing to public services and society. Income to universities from facilities and services – such as digital media suites – increased by 12% from 2009-10 to 2010-11.
In addition collaborative research and contract research income also grew (by 16% and 7% respectively) showing an increase in the application of knowledge to solving real world problems.
You can read the full story on the HEFCE website here: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/news/newsarchive/2012/name,73740,en.html