Research & Development

R&D activity is at the heart of England's East Midlands - home to an extensive range of research groups at eight highly acclaimed universities, together with extensive commercial sector activity in a range of business sectors across the region.

For businesses, collaborations with academics present powerful opportunities for new product development, and this has been recognised by the development of the research specialism search capability in the regional innovation website, where it is possible to search for and identify academics with specific expertise, make contact and explore opportunities for partnership.

Research conducted in the region has a real impact worldwide: from the region's development of the modern jet engine, and being at the centre of rail industry research and development, through to taking a leading role in global satellite navigation applications, and being part of the Galileo and regional space network. The region is also home to MIRA, and hosts significant developments in low carbon vehicles, including hydrogen fuel cell technology through Loughborough University.

Academics at the University of Nottingham developed the MRI scan and have won two Nobel prizes since 2003. Meanwhile genetic fingerprinting was discovered at the University of Leicester and powerful research into alternative energy is taking place at Loughborough University.

Each of the region's universities has a strong industrial and commercial perspective, with a range of partnerships formed with some of the world's leading companies. For example, the University of Nottingham worked with Rolls-Royce, Ford, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, while Loughborough University's industrial collaborations have earned it one in 5 Queens Anniversary prizes.

Universities with strong industrial specialisms also play a major role in the region as dedicated centres of excellence. For example BIO City Nottingham, backed by the University of Nottingham & Nottingham Trent University, is Europe’s largest bioscience incubation and innovation centre, housing over 50 UK and international companies.

Assets like Biocity help to make England's East Midlands one of the UK’s leading regions for turning innovative ideas into outstanding business opportunities.

Find out more about our region's world-class universities and innovation support.
Business environment > RandD