UK Research Partnership Investment Fund

The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) is designed to support investment in higher education research facilities.

Now in its sixth round of operation, the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) is the largest competitive grant funding scheme managed by Research England. Established in 2012, the UKRPIF has provided over £680 million of capital funding to 43 research projects across the UK in its first five rounds, attracting £1.73 billion in double-match funding from non-public sources.

The objectives of the UKRPIF are to:

  1. Enhance the research facilities of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) undertaking world-leading research;
  2. Encourage strategic partnerships between HEIs and other organisations active in research;
  3. Stimulate additional investment in higher education research and;
  4. Strengthen the contribution of the research base to economic growth

In 2017 Belmana Consulting and Middlesex University carried out an interim evaluation of the UKRPIF scheme. The final report can be viewed here.

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.

UK Research Partnership Investment Fund

The competition for round 6 of UKRPIF is now underway. The deadline for submitting an Expression of Interest has now closed. All institutions invited to submit to stage two have been notified and bids should be emailed to by noon Monday 1 October.

How to apply for the fund

Institutions should ensure they will be able to meet the requirements for the fund outlined in the guidance, HEFCE 2017/15, before preparing to submit an expression of interest (EOI), and subsequently invited to submit a full bid.

Aims of the fund

The fund has four main objectives. These are to:

  • enhance the research facilities of higher education institutions (HEIs) undertaking world-leading research
  • encourage strategic partnerships between HEIs and other organisations active in research
  • stimulate additional investment in HE research
  • strengthen the contribution of the research base to economic growth.

The fund supports large-scale projects that can also attract private investment.

Background information

The fund was originally set up in 2012. Since then the former HEFCE allocated over £680 million to 43 projects running between 2014-20, attracting £1.65 billion of investment from business and charities.

Round six was launched in autumn 2017 and funding of up to £220 million will be available to 2021.

Following the passage of the Higher Education and Research Act, the research and knowledge exchange functions of HEFCE have formed a new organisation, Research England. From April 2018, Research England will be established as one of nine Councils within UK Research and Innovation. Responsibility for managing the UKRPIF programme will transfer to Research England from this date.

Please email if you have any queries regarding the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund.

Funded projects

In rounds one to five over £680 million has been allocated to 43 projects, attracting over £1.65 billion of co-investment from business and charities. 

Institution name Bid focus Funding Region
University of Bath Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems £28,910,000 South West
University of Birmingham High Temperature Research Centre £20,000,000 West Midlands
University of Birmingham UK Rail Research Innovation Network £28,086,000 West Midlands
Brunel University London National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) £15,000,000 London
Brunel University London Advanced Metal Processing Centre £15,000,000 London
University of Cambridge The Maxwell Centre £21,031,500 East
University of Cambridge The Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease £25,000,000 East
University of Cambridge Chemistry of Health £17,645,000 East
University of Cambridge Centre for Crop Science £16,928,000 East
University of Cardiff Cardiff University Institute for Compound Semiconductors £17,300,000 Wales
Cranfield University Cranfield Aerospace Integration Research Centre £10,000,000 East
Cranfield University Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre £15,500,000 East
University of Dundee Centre for Translational and Interdisciplinary Research £11,916,000 Scotland
University of Edinburgh Building a New Biology £14,966,500 Scotland
University of Edinburgh Centre for Tissue Repair £10,700,00 Scotland
University of Glasgow Imaging Centre of Excellence & Clinical Research Facilities for Stratified Medicine £10,000,000 Scotland
Imperial College London Translation & Innovation Hub (I-HUB) £35,000,000 London
Imperial College London Biomedical Engineering Hub £20,000,000 London
Institute of Cancer Research Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery £30,000,000 London
King’s College London Research and innovation hub in cancer £15,000,000 London
King's College London Hub for Neuropsychiatry Imaging Research and Therapeutics £10,000,000 London
King’s College London Advanced Therapies Centre £10,164,789 London
University of Liverpool Materials Innovation Factory £11,000,000 North West
London School of Economics The International Inequalities Research Institute £32,176,500 London
University of Manchester The Oglesby Cancer Research Building £12,800,000 North West
University of Manchester Multidisciplinary Characterisation Facility (MCF) £18,017,381 North West
University of Manchester Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre £15,000,000 North West
University of Manchester Alliance Manchester Business School £9,666,429 North West
University of Nottingham The GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry £10,350,000 East Midlands
University of Nottingham Research and Innovation Centre for Power Electronics and Machines £9,365,000 East Midlands
University of Oxford The Oxford Target Discovery Institute £10,000,000 South East
University of Oxford Big Data Institute £10,000,000 South East
Queen's University Belfast The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine £10,502,000 Northern Ireland
University of Sheffield The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Factory 2050 £10,000,000 Yorkshire & Humber
University of Southampton Experimentation facilities in engineering science £10,000,000 South East
University of Strathclyde University of Strathclyde Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation (CMAC) £11,400,000 Scotland
University of Surrey University of Surrey 5G Innovation Centre £11,635,000 South East
Swansea University Energy Safety Research Institute £11,650,000 Wales
University College London Centre for Children’s Rare Disease Research £10,000,000 London
University College London The Institute of Immunity and Transplantation (IIT) £11,104,400 London
University College London Translational Neuroscience £28,850,000 London
University of Warwick Advanced Propulsion Research Laboratory (APRL) £14,500,000 West Midlands
University of Warwick National Automotive Innovation Campus £15,000,000 West Midlands
Total   £681,164,499