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To access the money, universities must at least double the money they receive from the fund through contributions from private companies or charities.  So the overall investment is expected to be in the region of £1 billion.

The fund was launched in June 2012. It supports major infrastructure projects in universities and colleges undertaking world-leading research. By stimulating university/business collaboration in key industries, it will further strengthen the contribution of higher education to economic growth.

The fund has been heavily oversubscribed, with a wide range of high-quality bids. The additional funding will significantly increase the number of projects that will benefit.

The fund is administered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The selection and prioritisation of projects has been made by an Independent Assessment Panel advising the HEFCE Board (note 2).  HEFCE greatly appreciates the rigorous approach that the Panel has taken in assessing the bids. The HEFCE Board will review its final recommendations later this week.

Birmingham, Dundee, Liverpool, Oxford, Surrey and Warwick are among a number of universities that will secure funding. HEFCE will be announcing the other successful bids in the week beginning 15 October, subject to further due diligence checks. We will also be inviting bids for a further UKRPIF round in due course.

Sir Alan Langlands, HEFCE’s Chief Executive, said

‘Today’s announcement highlights the vital role that UK universities and colleges play in world-leading research and innovation. The ultimate beneficiary will be UK plc, as higher education continues to make a significant contribution to economic development and growth.’ 

 

Notes

1. The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) was established following the statement in the 2012 Budget announcing £100 million additional capital funding for university research facilities. The fund will support substantial projects on the basis that universities leverage double match funding from private sources. The objectives for the fund are:

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

More information about the fund is available at ‘UK Research Partnership Investment Fund: 2012-2015’ (HEFCE 2012/12). Read more about the UK Research partnership investment fund

2. The selection and prioritisation of projects has been undertaken by an Independent Assessment Panel. Following a call for expressions of interest in June 2012, the most viable propositions were invited to develop full project proposals. These proposals were assessed against the criteria for the fund (developments build on excellent research; the nature of the co-investment; and value for money).  The assessment Panel’s recommendations are being presented to the HEFCE Board on 11 October and the Board will discuss the allocation of additional funds and which projects can potentially be funded from this round.

3. Read a joint press release from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and HMT.