The UKRPIF supports higher education research facilities, to attract investment in university research and to strengthen the contribution of the research base to economic growth. Universities have to find at least twice as much funding from business or charities as is given in the UKRPIF contribution. The fund was set up in 2012, to run for three years until 2015, and is managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). In the 2013 Spending Round, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a further two years of funding, through to 2017. Details of how to bid for this funding will be available soon on HEFCE’s UKRPIF pages.
The three projects are:
- King’s College London – to create a Research and Innovation Hub within the new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital, which is being developed by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity and Dimbleby Cancer Care. Through the new hub, scientists will be able to collaborate with clinicians, allied health professionals and patients as they develop technologies and conduct translational research which will drive the discovery of causes, treatment, and ultimately, cures for cancer. The hub will also act as a focal point for collaboration with other research organisations and industry to develop commercial products that address cancer care. (Value of project £162.8 million, co-funding £32.6 million, UKRPIF award £15 million.)
- University of Glasgow – new clinical research facilities and state-of-the-art imaging suite at the new South Glasgow Hospitals Campus, in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the Wellcome Trust, the Wolfson Foundation and others. It will build on collaboration across universities, business, and NHS, and recent investment from the Scottish Funding Council. The project is an ambitious development to link a number of planned infrastructure developments to promote collaborative stratified medicine across Scotland. The new facilities will help to address chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, rheumatology, respiratory and infectious chronic diseases through a new physically-linked Clinical Research Facility and imaging suite. (Value of project £58 million, co-funding £20.6 million, UKRPIF award £10 million.)
- University of Southampton – new engineering research facilities and infrastructure, part of the development of the Boldrewood Campus, in partnership with Lloyd’s Register. The project will createexperimentation facilities in engineering science in fluids, structures, materials and geotechnics, underpinned and complemented by computational and data handling facilities. The research will initially support developments in the maritime and marine sector, aerospace, rail, and structural engineering. (Value of project £33.1 million, co-funding £22.1 million, UKRPIF award £10 million.)
David Willetts, Universities Minister, said:
‘The UK’s world-class universities are at the forefront of our economic recovery. It’s vital we do everything we can to encourage collaboration with the private sector and boost funding for research. With funding from the Research Partnership Investment Fund, these excellent projects will not only deliver new knowledge and applications for industry, but will accelerate growth and foster innovation between the research base and business, keeping the UK ahead in the global race.’
Steve Egan, Interim Chief Executive, HEFCE, said:
'These projects bring to 22 the number of large-scale research infrastructure schemes supported by the fund: a total investment of over £1 billion. They demonstrate the contribution of higher education to tackling major national and global issues for public benefit, and the key role of universities in delivering economic growth in collaboration with charities and the private sector.'
- The three projects announced today are funded through the second round of the UKRPIF.
- Details of further funding of UKRPIF, including a call for proposals, will be announced in the coming weeks.