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Yorkshire Universities established a Technical Assistance (TA) team to work with three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in Yorkshire (Leeds City Region, York North Yorkshire and East Riding, and the Humber) to ensure the higher education sector was fully engaged in the development of the 2014-2020 EU Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) Programme.

The YUTA project accessed the research and technology strengths of Yorkshire’s universities and worked with the LEPs to develop projects which stimulated business innovation and economic growth in Yorkshire’s local economies. The aims of the project were to:

  • support the development of LEP EU Investment Strategies in Leeds City Region, York, North Yorkshire & East Riding, and Humber
  • identify and promote good practice more widely on HE use of structural funds
  • develop a pipe-line of suitable projects for ESIF investment.

YU partner universities (with the support of YUTA) submitted three major innovation projects (combined value of £46.6m, £32.8m ERDF) to the first innovation call (Expression of Interest Stage, EOI). Scoping reports linking growth opportunities, local ESIF priorities and HE research and innovation strengths were produced as part of the project in the following areas:

  • Bio/agri science
  • Medical Innovation
  • SME Innovation
  • Advanced Manufacturing (Automotive Supply Chain)
  • Advanced Manufacturing (Textiles)
  • Renewable Energy
  • Data Analytics / Big Data

The project finished on 30 September 2015.

A Good Practice Guide (GPG) to ESIF for universities was prepared, produced and disseminated. In addition to two launch events held in late 2014, copies of the GPG were disseminated to all English universities and all 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships.

In addition to the above, YUTA has helped to construct and strengthen relationships and understanding between HEIs and local LEPs. This has led to strong HE input to LEP Innovation Strategies and the instigation of a regular programme of high level meetings between LEP Board members and Vice Chancellors. To date meetings have focused on research and innovation, supporting business growth and international support for exports and inward investments. HE’s position in any future growth partnerships (LEPs, Cities, Combined Authorities) will be important and that YUTA has played a part in securing the foundations for a strong HE contribution.

Project information

Catalyst funding £78,354 
Total project funding £356,315
Project contact Jo Barham  
Email j.barham@yorkshireuniversities.ac.uk
Project website www.yorkshireuniversities.ac.uk
Twitter handle @Yorkshireunis

Page last updated 13 October 2016

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