This month marks one year since the launch of our Strategic Plan 2022-2027 – Transforming Lives and Communities, with the University of Lincoln now moving into a new phase of growth and development. With continued commitment to realising our global vision with localised impact, I am pleased to highlight some of the exciting progress our institution has made over recent months.
We’re delighted to share that the Rt. Hon Prof the Lord Ajay Kakkar KBE PC, the distinguished surgeon, scientist and crossbench member of the House of Lords, will be installed as the next and third Chancellor of the University of Lincoln. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in diverse fields spanning health, science, justice, business and innovation, and of course, a distinguished career of public service.
Lord Kakkar will succeed Lord Victor Adebowale CBE, who last year announced his intention to step down from the role after almost 15 years of service to the University. The installation of the new Chancellor will take place this September ahead of the University’s graduation ceremonies at Lincoln Cathedral.
Lord Kakkar is Emeritus Professor of Surgery at University College London and an independent crossbench member of the House of Lords, having been created a life peer in 2010. He is Chairman of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Science Centre. He was appointed as Chairman of the House of Lords Appointments Commission from 2013 to 2018 and, at the same time, was UK Business Ambassador for Healthcare and Lifesciences. From 2016 to 2022 he served as Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission.
The Senior Leadership team and I look forward to working together with Lord Kakkar in supporting the University to embrace opportunities ahead and achieve future successes. More information about Lord Kakkar’s impressive career can be read in our announcement.
In May we received confirmation from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) that the University of Lincoln is among the top five universities in the country for enabling student start-up businesses – an achievement we’re extremely proud of.
The study, ‘Intellectual property: Spin-off activities by HE provider, type of activity, metric and academic year’, analysed data from 2014 to 2022, and found that the University’s comprehensive range of business incubation services enabled a total of 166 student companies to be actualised.
Reece Leggett, Student Enterprise Manager, had this to say about the results: “This achievement is a testament to the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of our students, and we are committed to continuing to support and nurture their innovative ideas and ambitions.”
Vicky Addison, Head of Business Incubation and Growth at the University, leads the team responsible for delivering support to student start-ups: “The continued work of the Research and Enterprise department, in which Student Enterprise is based, has been the linchpin in enabling the University to be seen so prominently in the regional business community. We are always looking at ways to improve our infrastructure so we can offer a pathway for our student start-ups, with it beginning in Student Enterprise, before moving to our on-site incubation centres, Sparkhouse and the Think Tank for continued support and office space.”
It’s extremely rewarding to see so many of our enterprising students staying in the Midlands to launch and grow their new businesses, contributing to our local economies and retaining innovation in our thriving region.
In June we saw King Charles III celebrate the launch of the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Astra Carta framework, in which he unveiled the Astra Carta seal, designed by Sir Jony Ive, in front of astronauts, business leaders, environmentalists and scientists during a Space Sustainability Event at Buckingham Palace.
Professor Mini Rai, Global Chair in Robotic Engineering at the University of Lincoln, co-authored the Memorandum of Principles of Space Sustainability that fed into the Astra Carta announced by the King. Our research in Sustainable Space and Circular Economy in Space feeds into the Earth and Space Sustainability Initiative led by Minister George Freeman, the UK Space Agency and various industries.
Recognising the rapidly developing role of the private sector in space activity and exploration, the Astra Carta introduces an ambitious roadmap for the those in the private sector to lead the acceleration of sustainable practices across global space-related industries. It also recognises the unique role that space can play in creating a more sustainable future on Earth and the need for the stakeholders to consider environmental and sustainable impacts beyond our planet. Its ambitions encourage a focus on placing sustainability at the centre of space activity.
Congratulations to Professor Mini Rai for their work on the Memorandum of Principles of Space Sustainability, the importance of which is sure to exponentially grow as we move forward with space exploration. The foresight and expertise that underpins Professor Rai’s work speaks volumes of how important the research being done at the University of Lincoln is.
For a full write-up of the Astra Cart launch, you can read the Business Green article and if you are interested in the work of the Sustainable Markets Initiative and the Astra Carta, you can visit their website.
These three achievements are just a few examples of the positives steps we are taking to make our University the most resilient, inclusive and dynamic institution it can be, and I look forward to seeing the results in the coming academic year.