Businesses in Northern Ireland face missing out on a slice of a £13m funding package, according to top academics.
Queen's University is calling on more firms to take advantage of the windfall from Invest Northern Ireland and the Technology Strategy Board to help companies participate in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) with universities and colleges.
A KTP is a partnership between higher education providers and businesses, in which a graduate enters a firm to work on a pre-arranged design or research project.
Queen's is currently the lead institution in the UK for KTPs. On average, each project creates three extra jobs, secures training for an additional 14 staff members, and invests an additional £166,000 in plant and machinery.
Dr Mary Flynn, head of KTP at Queen's, said businesses need to think of new ways to stay ahead of the competition.
"We are currently working with 30 companies across all sectors, ranging from multi-nationals to very small firms, but we want to see more businesses cross our threshold," she said.
Further information on the KTP process is available from www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/ KTPandBusinessNetworks.