Research England investment of £221m attracts £500m for 11 state-of-the-art research facilities

Research England investment of £221m attracts £500m for 11 state-of-the-art research facilities
  • Public and private investment of £721m will create 11 new university research centres to develop specialist industrial clusters and drive economic growth in South Wales, the South West, East Midlands and North West, London and the South East.
  • The facilities will support cutting-edge research and innovation in a wide range of areas – from accelerating the development of satellite technology and the next generation of semiconductors, to the advancement of treatments for cardiorespiratory disease, eye health and cancer.
  • Research England, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing £221m through its flagship UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF). Nearly 100 businesses, charities and philanthropic donors, such as BT, Siemens, South West Water and the British Heart Foundation, have committed an additional £500m.

Research England is investing £221m in 11 brand new university research facilities across the UK that will support cutting-edge research and innovation in a wide range of specialist areas – from accelerating the development of satellite technology and the next generation of semiconductors, to the advancement of treatments for cardiorespiratory disease, eye disease and cancer.

The funding is from Research England’s flagship UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF).

Nearly 100 businesses, charities and philanthropic donors, such as BT, Siemens, South West Water and the British Heart Foundation, have committed an additional £500m on top of Research England’s investment, bringing the total to £721m.

The new investment will enhance the UK’s world-class higher education research capabilities, strengthen and develop specialist industrial clusters, and generate local economic growth in South Wales, the South West, East Midlands and North West, as well as in London and the South East.

Established in 2012 and now in its sixth round, UKRPIF is a key supporter of the Government’s Industrial Strategy objectives, funding capital research projects that will address global challenges and opportunities, drive innovation to improve national productivity, and raise total research and development investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

Universities minister, Chris Skidmore, said:

‘Government investment in research and our world-leading universities are helping attract even bigger investments from the private sector. These groundbreaking research projects worth approximately £721m are a fantastic example of this, as we work towards our target of 2.4% of GDP expenditure on R&D by 2027.

‘As I will note in my final ‘Road to 2.4%’ speech today, this is our modern Industrial Strategy in action: extending our reputation for excellence into the future as we invest record levels into R&D and strive to become the most innovative country in the world.’

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said: 

‘Ensuring our researchers and innovators have the infrastructure they need is essential to creating knowledge and delivering life-changing advances. From tackling cancer and heart disease to improving transport and managing vital water resources, the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund will deliver 11 new world-leading  university facilities to support discovery and translation.’

Research England’s Executive Chair, David Sweeney, said:

‘I’m proud to be investing in 11 UK universities’ research capabilities across such a wide range of topics, helping them build partnerships and enhance their contribution to society and the economy. 

‘Our UKRPIF scheme plays a vital role in fostering long-term strategic partnerships between universities and research stakeholders including business and philanthropic donors. It is also a key contributor to the government’s commitment to see research and development investment rise to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

‘Capital funding is crucial in establishing the UK as a place where world-leading research can take place, and in realising – and delivering – the UK’s research and innovation capabilities.’

The £221m invested brings the total level of government investment in the fund to £900m, which has so far attracted over £2bn of co-investment from industry partners, charitable organisations and philanthropic donors since the fund’s launch in 2012.

A full list of the 11 projects is summarised below.

Contact

For media enquiries, contact Tamera Jones, 07342 025443, or James Giles-Franklin, 07702 611906, press@ukri.org

For enquiries about the UKRPIF, contact researchpartnership@re.ukri.org

Notes

  1. Research England is a public body that shapes healthy, dynamic research and knowledge exchange in universities. It distributes over £2.2bn every year to universities, primarily in England but also in the rest of the UK; it works to understand their strategies, capabilities and capacity; and it supports and challenges universities to create new knowledge, strengthen the economy, and enrich society. Research England is part of UK Research and Innovation alongside the seven Research Councils and Innovate UK. www.ukri.org/re @ResEngland

  2. Research England administers the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), with the funding bodies from the devolved administrations. Established in 2012, UKRPIF supports investment in higher education research facilities and, including the newly awarded Round 6 projects, has allocated £900 million to 54 research facilities and centres and attracted over £2 billion of co-investment from more than 240 businesses, charities and philanthropic donors.

  3. The aims of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund are to:

  • Enhance the research facilities of HEIs undertaking world-leading research
  • Encourage strategic partnerships between HEIs and with other organisations active in research 
  • Stimulate additional investment in university research
  • Strengthen the contribution of the research base to economic growth
  1. For further information on UKRPIF visit https://re.ukri.org/research/uk-research-partnership-investment-fund/

  2. Summaries of the 11 new facilities are below.
  1. £29m for the University of Bristol’s Bristol Digital Futures Institute, located in new facilities at Bristol’s Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus to support research into how technologies might be developed, used and experienced in the future.
  1. £16m for Brunel University London’s Future Metallurgy Centre, a new facility to support the characterisation of advanced metallic materials. The project will support fundamental research in light metals, enhance Brunel’s research capacity, leverage £40m co-investment from the private sector and deliver significant benefits to the UK economy.
  1. £30m for the University of Cambridge’s Heart and Lung Research Institute, to rapidly expand and accelerate commercially relevant and high impact basic and clinical research into treatments for cardiorespiratory disease.
  1. £10m for the University of Exeter’s Centre for Resilience in Environment, Water and Waste (CREWW). Part-funded by South West Water, CREWW will incorporate specialist laboratory facilities and space to facilitate collaboration between academics and water industry colleagues.
  1. £14m for the University of Leicester’s Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology and Earth Observation Research Centre (METEOR) to revolutionise how satellites are conceived, designed, operated and produced, while bringing world-leading approaches to data capture, mining and interpretation.
  1. £30m for UCL’s Project Oriel, a proposal to build a new and transformative centre for advanced eye health to deliver world-leading eye care for patients, the best education for students and research for the benefit of the whole population.
  1. £30m for Swansea University’s Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials, a world-first research and technology development facility dedicated to integrating historically disparate semiconductor platforms and their manufacturing philosophies.
  1. £16m for King’s College London’s London Institute for Healthcare Engineering. The Institute will provide an optimised environment to translate research into health and economic impact by facilitating intensive collaboration between sectors on cutting-edge projects, ranging from novel digital health technologies to life-saving invasive medical devices. 
  1. £25m for the University of Manchester’s new globally leading cancer research centre. The world-leading new facility will enable research growth and, most importantly, facilitate a ground breaking approach to how we work together by embedding the research facility within a cancer hospital.
  1. £10m for the University of York’s York Global Initiative for Safe Autonomy, a dedicated new research facility at the University of York, will address the challenges faced by the world-wide introduction of robotics and connected autonomous systems (RCAS).
  1. £11m for the University of Leeds’ Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration, to provide the UK with transformational, globally unique, full-scale high-speed rail research capability. The institute will include the development of world-leading 400 km/h infrastructure and vehicle test facilities.