1. What activities are in scope of the competitive Connecting Capability Fund (CCF)?
- The CCF is revenue funding only, but capital contributions can be included in bids as leverage.
- The CCF is intended to support delivery of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. Hence the focus is on partnering with business and delivering economic and commercial benefit. However, activities may include other relevant partners in addition to businesses, for example NHS, Environment Agency.
- The CCF comes from the science and research budget. Hence projects focussed on substantially teaching-related knowledge exchange (such as student enterprise or employer engagement) cannot be supported.
- We do not fund business support – in other words, we do not fund provision of advice to businesses that is not linked with specifically university-related expertise (staff or students).
- All activities that link academic expertise with businesses are in scope. This includes technology transfer (licensing intellectual property and establishing spin- off companies) and all forms of academic partnering with research, such as collaborative, contract research, consultancy, including linked with regional economic development or physical equipment and facilities.
Bids and bidding rounds
2. Can higher education institutions (HEIs) bid twice in each round or twice overall?
HEIs are restricted to two bids in total to CCF, not two for each round.
3. Can HEIs lead on more than one bid?
No. HEIs are restricted to leading only one bid (and can participate in one other bid).
4. What if my HEI does not want to lead?
HEIs can participate in up to two bids in total and do not need to lead any.
5. Does it matter which round an HEI bids to?
This is a matter for HEIs to decide in light of when their bid is ready.
Expressions of interest (EoIs)
6. Does an HEI need to submit an expression of interest (EoI) in order to be able to bid in the second round?
No, submitting an EoI is optional. However, submitting an EoI may increase chances of success through participation in development activities and receiving feedback.
7. Are HEIs limited on the number of EoIs for round two that can be submitted?
Multiple EoIs are allowed, but we would expect a university to have clear views about its strategic choices on collaboration. The focus of CCF is on collaboration – good practice in developing and sustaining collaboration. To be successful, bids will need to make a very good case that there is strong strategic intent and effective implementation practice behind the particular collaboration that is the focus of the bid.
8. Do EoIs need to be submitted by the HEI centrally?
We expect all EoIs to be centrally submitted.
9. Will feedback on my EoI mean my bid will be successful?
CCF is a competitive process and success cannot be guaranteed. The CCF steering group will make recommendations on awards on the basis of the evidence submitted in bids.