Contract research is undertaken by universities to meet the specific research needs of external partners. For example, the University is working with Yorkshire Water to identify how flow and habitat modifications associated with reservoirs can be used to enhance fisheries and ensure future resilience of fish populations under increasing pressure for water resources.
The research will help Yorkshire Water meet regulatory requirements while protecting the environment and providing water resources for the people and businesses of the Yorkshire region.
Intellectual property and commercialisation
The University of Hull's research generates ground-breaking intellectual property, such as inventions that tackle global challenges and benefit society. For instance, the University is currently developing a dual-source heat pump which builds on a BEIS project with Hull City Council, and is advancing a low-carbon heating technology to tackle the challenge of defrosting conventional air source heat pumps.
The technology provides a unique defrosting approach using the exhaust air from buildings, with near-zero electricity consumption. It uses two-stage evaporation to achieve high-temperature hot water and recover the ventilation heat, resulting in a waste heat recovery rate of more than 100%. It has a huge market potential as the exhaust air is an inevitable product of buildings.
Continuous Professional Development
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is the learning activity professionals engage in to develop their abilities. The University offers a wide range of CPD, enabling access to the latest academic knowledge and expertise to enhance workforces.
For example, CATALYST is a career development programme designed for new-to-practice GPs across the Humber, Coast and Vale area. Developed by Hull York Medical School’s Academy of Primary Care, this 12-month programme has been designed to provide key knowledge and skills which GPs will need to deliver better care to their patients now and in the future, and which will enable them to be at the forefront of developments in primary care practice.
Public and community engagement
Public and community engagement means the multitude of ways in which the benefits of universities’ education and research are shared with the public in a two-way process generating mutual benefit.
For instance, working with the Wellcome Trust and British Science Association we have been one of the pilot areas for the Ideas Fund programme. This focuses on knowledge exchange and public engagement based in Hull.
A number of successful projects have been funded, ranging from exploring use of green spaces for mental wellbeing in Rewilding Youth; to working with people who have dementia and engaging different artists to develop resources to assist families in understanding the experiences of living with dementia; to working with Fitmums, who have been using literature to explore feelings around bereavement.
Facilities and equipment
A range of businesses and other external parties use the University’s specialist facilities and equipment. The wide array of available facilities ranges from visualisation environments to acoustic centres, 3D printers, medical teaching facilities, and the University’s multi-million-pound high performance supercomputer.
Alongside these facilities, the University’s Aura Innovation Centre and Flood Innovation Centre provide a community to support businesses of all sizes, helping to drive innovation in the areas of low-carbon and flood resilience, while its Enterprise Centre is a thriving community of ambitious start-ups and a hub for entrepreneurs.
Through these varied types of knowledge exchange the University of Hull supports businesses to innovate and thrive, and helps tackle local, national and global challenges.