Nine university and business research projects awarded funding totalling £177 million

Nine university and business research projects awarded funding totalling £177 million

The awards will enable world-leading research by universities working with business, in areas including power electronics, crop science, vehicle propulsion and digital technology for aviation. This extends the range of disciplines supported by the scheme to date.

The announcement also includes the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF’s) first collaborative project across multiple higher education institutions – the establishment of a UK Rail and Innovation Network.

UKRPIF enables universities to work with industry and other partners, harnessing the UK’s strengths in science and research to make advances in key areas: strengthening the nation’s research base, driving innovation and helping to support economic growth. The aims of the fund are in line with the Government’s industrial strategy.

The nine projects announced today complete the fifth round of UKRPIF, covering investment to be made in 2018-19 to 2019-20. Two projects, totalling £52 million, were announced earlier in the round.

Through their business and charitable partnerships, the nine projects have together attracted over £360 million in further funding from private sources.

David Sweeney, HEFCE’s Director of Research, Education and Knowledge Exchange and Chief Executive Designate of Research England, said:

‘I am delighted that we are able to support these nine projects that will deliver high-class facilities and world-leading research, enabling UK universities to continue to tackle major national and global challenges, and make a significant contribution to economic growth.’

The nine projects announced today are:

  1. Advanced Therapies Centre – King’s College London – UKRPIF funding: £10,164,789.
  2. Alliance Manchester Business School – University of Manchester – UKRPIF funding: £9,666,429.
  3. Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre – Cranfield University – UKRPIF funding: £15,500,000.
  4. Centre for Crop Science – University of Cambridge – UKRPIF funding: £16,928,000.
  5. Creating a new Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery – Institute of Cancer Research – UKRPIF funding: £30 million.
  6. Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems – University of Bath – UKRPIF funding: £28,910,000.
  7. Research and Innovation Centre for Power Electronics and Machines – University of Nottingham – UKRPIF funding: £9,365,000.
  8. Translational Neuroscience – University College London – UKRPIF funding: £28,850,000.
  9. UK Rail Research Innovation Network – University of Birmingham – UKRPIF funding: £28,086,000.

Since UKRPIF was established in 2012, HEFCE has allocated over £680 million to 43 projects through the scheme – attracting over £1.65 billion of further investment from business, charities and private investors. Round six of the competition will allocate a further £220 million up to 2021. 


  1. The aims of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund are to:
    • enhance the research facilities of higher education institutions undertaking world-leading research
    • encourage strategic partnerships between institutions and with other organisations active in research
    • stimulate additional investment in university research
    • strengthen the contribution of the research base to economic growth.
    UKRPIF is managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), in collaboration with the other three UK higher education funding bodies – the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland.
  2. Proposals for funding by the UKRPIF are assessed by an independent assessment panel.
  3. UKRPIF was first launched with £100 million of public finance in May 2012. In response to the large number of high-quality bids, the Government tripled the public support to £300 million in autumn 2012 and ran a second round of the special funding initiative. In June 2013, the Government announced two further rounds of UKRPIF, extending it to 2016-17 and making available an additional £200 million to be allocated over two years. An additional £400 million of funding was announced for UKRPIF in the 2015 budget for the period to 2021, taking the total government investment in the fund to £900 million.
  4. These nine projects bring the total number of projects announced under the fifth round of UKRPIF funding to 11. The first two awards, announced earlier this year, were for projects led by Imperial College London and the London School of Economics, for £20 million and £32 million respectively. Further information about these projects can be found on the HEFCE website at,111747,en.html.
  5. For further information on the UKRPIF see 

Read the HEFCE press release.