University of Southampton

Our impact

The University of Southampton is changing the world for the better, working with industry, governments and research institutions to make a global impact. Our staff and students tackle real-world issues, making a difference to people’s lives in the local community, across the UK and around the world. 

Find out more about:

Making an impact through research

From new approaches to sustainable power to pioneering treatments for conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, we are addressing some of today’s major challenges.

Watch the video or visit our research pages to find out more about our research impact.

Making an economic impact

We commissioned a leading independent consultancy in 2014 to produce an economic and social impact assessment of the University’s activities.

They measured our economic impact in both Gross Value Added and Employment.

  • Gross Value Added (GVA) measures the monetary contribution of the University to the economy.
  • Employment is measured in full-time equivalent jobs supported.

Download the Economic Impact Assessment report

Their report indicates that in 2012/13 the University supported more than £2 billion GVA in the UK and more than 26,540 jobs. Of this, £1billion and over 16,300 jobs were in the region; and in Southampton £729 million and 11,700 jobs.

Commercialising our research

  • We are one of the leading entrepreneurial universities in the UK, having successfully spun out 12 companies since 2000.
  • Three of these have been floated on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) with a combined market capitalisation value of £160m.  

Sharing our expertise

Investing in new technologies

  • We have been one of the most successful universities in the country in winning grants from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Technology Programme, now run by the Technology Strategy Board, with awards of almost £20m in the last two years, including £6m in collaboration with our spin-out companies.
  • Innovative technologies supported through DTI grants at Southampton include stem cell research, lasers, nanotechnology, alternate fuel development and the reduction of aircraft noise.

Working in partnership

  • We work with more than 300 businesses around the world. These include industry leaders such as Rolls-Royce, Microsoft, IBM and Phillips.
  • We also help new enterprises to get off the ground. Our business incubator has supported over 30 companies, helping them to raise millions of pounds in investment.

Find out more about our work with business


Useful downloads

Making an impact through our people

Developing world-changing people

A Southampton education is a firm foundation for career success and many of our graduates have emerged as leaders in their fields. They include:

  • Sue Langley, Chief Executive of the government’s UK Financial Services Organisation
  • Sir George Buckley, the former Chairman, President, and Chief Executive of multinational conglomerate 3M
  • Howard Taylor, Vice President and Managing Director of the Nike Foundation
  • Adrian Newey, Technical Director for the Red Bull Racing Formula One Team
  • Chris Packham, naturalist, broadcaster and conservation campaigner

Many of our own world-class staff also studied at Southampton, including Web Science pioneer Professor Dame Wendy Hall.

Find out more about our alumni.

Changing lives through student enterprise

Our students are making a positive impact on people’s lives in developing countries through the award-winning social enterprise programme, Enactus. One example is Right Light, a student-led initiative which is improving the wellbeing and economic chances of people in rural Africa by giving them access to safe, sustainable solar lamps.

Making an impact in the city and region

Contributing to economic prosperity

  • The University is one of the largest employers in Southampton with over 6,000 members of staff.
  • We contribute an estimated £729 million to the local economy and support an estimated additional 5,500 jobs within the city.
  • We attract investment and new businesses to the area. The University’s Science Park is home to more than 50 companies, each providing jobs and opportunities in the region. 

Inspiring young people

We work with schools and colleges across the region. Initiatives such as Learn with US aim to encourage talented young people who might not otherwise see higher education as an option for them. Another successful project, LifeLab, brings Hampshire schoolchildren into the laboratory for hands-on learning. As well as having a lasting effect on their health-related lifestyle choices, LifeLab is encouraging more students to consider further study and a career in science.

“Through education and research, innovation and enterprise, the University unlocks creative potential and provides opportunities that transform the lives of our students, our community, society and the economy.”

Professor Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor

The University strategy

Making an impact on society and the economy is one of our key strategic aims. Find out more about the University strategy.