London South Bank University hosted the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills at the launch of the Nathu Puri Institute for Engineering & Enterprise on Tuesday 26 July.
Professor Nathu Puri and other invited guests, including the Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, also attended the reception which marked the formal announcement of the Institute.
The Nathu Puri Institute, based at London South Bank University's Faculty of Engineering, Science and The Built Environment, will aim to foster enterprise amongst engineers, to help prepare next generation leaders and to support the UK engineering industry to enhance its competitive advantage.
It will be set up with the support of a gift of £1 million from Professor Puri and further funding from the government's higher education gift matching scheme.
Professor Nathu Puri is an alumnus, an honorary graduate, a donor and a close friend of London South Bank University. It is in recognition of his work and his generous support for the University that the Institute will be named after him.
The Institute will comprise a Professorial Chair in Engineering & Management, a Professorial Chair in Engineering & Enterprise, two Senior Lecturers in Engineering & Enterprise, research and development space and other facilities to support the Institute.
Speaking at the reception, Professor Puri said: "I feel a special affinity with London South Bank University. I came to Britain in 1966, studied at the National College, a predecessor institution to part of LSBU. Two of my nephews also studied here...
"Similar knowledge should be available to future engineers and engineering students so that more of them can break the glass ceiling and become entrepreneurs and our business leaders. Current demands are for engineers with a much wider knowledge base, hence this initiative today.
"Britain needs an extensive manufacturing base for its long term prosperity. I hope this institute will contribute to such endeavour."
LSBU Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Martin Earwicker, said: "The creation of this Institute has only been possible thanks to the amazingly generous gift from Professor Nat Puri and to the corresponding matched funding from HEFCE."
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable said: "The establishment of this Institute shows that philanthropic donations can lead to great things for a university, its students and the economy. This new facility gives students the means to transform their abilities in science and engineering into dynamic businesses for the future.
"In recent years, universities have improved their fundraising efforts greatly and we outlined a number of measures in the Budget to encourage further donations, including a ten per cent cut in inheritance tax for estates leaving at least ten per cent to charity."
Speaking on behalf of HEFCE, Steve Egan, Deputy Chief Executive, said: "The matched funding scheme for voluntary giving, the first of its kind in the UK, aims to promote a culture of philanthropic giving to higher education institutions. As the scheme draws to a close after three years, I am delighted that it has been able to contribute to the establishment of this important new Institute."
Posted: 28th July 2011