UK Research Partnership Initiative Fund (UKRPIF)
The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) is the largest competitive grant funding scheme managed by Research England. It is designed to support investment in higher education research facilities.
Established in 2012, the scheme will have provided over £900 million of capital funding to 54 state-of-the-art research centres and facilities in universities across the UK by the end of 2021.
A unique and fundamental feature of the scheme is the doublematch funding that is required from non-public investors - for every £1 awarded through UKRPIF, universities must attract £2 from other sources. To date, UKRPIF projects have secured commitments of over £2 billion of co-investment from industry partners, charitable organisations and philanthropic donors.
Half of projects are now operational, creating new space for academics to work alongside clinicians, industrial partners and local SMEs.
The objectives of the UKRPIF are to:
- Enhance the research facilities of universities undertaking world-leading research
- Encourage strategic partnerships between universities and other organisations active in research
- Stimulate additional investment in higher education research
- Strengthen the contribution of the research base to economic growth.
Emerging research outcomes
With 21 projects now complete we are starting to realise some of the benefits of the UKRPIF investment. These include:
- Increase in translational research transforming discovery science into healthcare solutions.
- Standard-setting and thought leadership establishing research centres in the UK as leaders of industry standards.
- Positive impact on international collaborations including partnerships with universities, industry and charities outside of the UK.
- Co-location of academic staff with industry representatives and partner employees, fostering knowledge exchange and shared expertise across groups.
- Positive impact on research outputs such as academic papers, policy white papers, licenses and patents.
- Changes to operating models, including the replacement of dispersed research equipment spread across labs, by single, open-plan laboratories.
- Positive impact on market readiness of research for use by consumers and society with products rolled out, patent applications and revenues from intellectual property (IP).
- Increase in PhD student numbers and post-doctoral research associates linked to the prevalence of industry sponsorship in UKRPIF facilities.
Is the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund currently open for submissions?
UKRPIF is not currently open for submissions. Please see the UKRI website for information on further programmes in the coming months.
What does UKRPIF fund?
UKRPIF provides funding for infrastructure and capital projects underpinning excellent research. As part of the assessment criteria there is a need to demonstrate the importance of enhancing the research facilities of the HEP and how this benefits the research and strengthens the opportunity for strategic partnership.
Who manages the delivery of UKRPIF in the devolved nations?
Research England administers UKRPIF in partnership with the devolved funding bodies to deliver the fund UK wide - HEFCW in Wales, SFC in Scotland and DfE Northern Ireland.
What impact does UKRPIF have on UK research?
In 2017 Belmana Consulting and Middlesex University carried out an interim evaluation of the UKRPIF scheme. The final report can be viewed here.
Research England are currently developing an evaluation framework to measure the impact of the fund at the programme level. A pilot evaluation is due for completion early 2020.
Which projects currently receive funding from UKRPIF?
In round six, 11 projects totalling a £210 million public investment were funded, bringing the total number of funded projects to 54. The projects can be viewed here.
Who do I contact if I have any questions?
Please email the UKRPIF inbox.