The projects, announced today by the Minister for Universities and Science, will promote, respectively, the development of world-leading research into immunology and infectious diseases; aerospace integration; and advanced propulsion for the automotive industry. The three projects will receive a total of £49.5 million in public support, and together are attracting £133.7 million of additional private investment bringing total investment to £183 million.
This is the first set of projects to be announced from the third round of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF). This brings the total number of successful projects across the three funding rounds to 25. Universities have received £350 million in public funding, and have secured at least double that amount of investment from businesses or charities, together delivering more than £1.3 billion of new funding for research.
Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said:
'These three new exciting partnerships worth £183 million will help underscore our Universities’ world-leading research in areas like battling diseases to developing the next generation of advanced aircraft.
'Forging strong business and academic relationships like those through the Research Partnership Investment Fund remains vital to reinforcing the UK’s reputation as a global leader in research and innovation.'
Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said:
‘The Research Partnership Investment Fund is a considerable success and I am delighted to announce funding for three projects each of which will make a substantial positive impact on our society. Novel drug therapies, more efficient aircraft and the next generation of cars: through these projects, universities are again showing their major contributions economy and social prosperity. I look forward to announcing another group of UKRPIF projects in the near future.’
The three new projects are:
The Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease. This project will bring together a broad range of key industry partners to achieve three inter-related ambitions: to drive therapeutic breakthroughs in immune-related diseases; to explore new strategies for the control of globally important pathogens; and to increase the likelihood of discovering important, high-value, new medicines in the UK by enhancing interactions between academia and the pharmaceutical industry. The chief areas of effort will be in autoimmune and inflammatory disease – for example Type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease – and the looming threat posed by antimicrobial resistance.
Value of project: £87.7 million. Co-funding: £62.7 million. UKRPIF award: £25 million.
Partners: The University of Cambridge with AstraZeneca/MedImmune, GlaxoSmithKline, UCB/Celltech, Kymab and the Wellcome Trust.
Cranfield Aerospace Integration Research Centre. This project will be created at Cranfield University, to research innovative aerospace technologies with the aim of achieving ambitious performance, emission control and efficiency targets for future aircraft. This world-leading research capability in aerospace systems design and integration will create a focus for academically ambitious and industrially relevant research and innovation that directly contributes to the growth of the aerospace industry and the wider UK economy.
Value of project: £30 million. Co-funding: £20 million. UKRPIF award: £10 million.
Partners: Cranfield University with Airbus and Rolls-Royce.
University of Warwick, Advanced Propulsion Research Laboratory (APRL). The APRL will link people, research and world-leading infrastructure, to create next-generation technologies in the propulsion systems that are central to the future competitiveness of the automotive industry. The industry faces unprecedented challenges as the world moves to a low-carbon technology model, reinforced by escalating energy costs and legislation imposing strict emissions limits. It is forecast that by 2040 almost none of Europe’s new cars will be powered solely by a traditional engine. APRL will lead research to address these arising needs, transforming the research and innovation landscape and positioning the UK as a leading innovator in propulsion systems.
Value of project: over £65 million. Co-funding: £51 million. UKRPIF award: £14.5 million.
Partners: University of Warwick, WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group), with Jaguar Land Rover.
The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) supports research facilities in universities by attracting investment in research, and strengthening its contribution to economic growth.
UKRPIF is managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), in collaboration with the other UK higher education funding bodies, with proposals assessed by an independent assessment panel.
UKRPIF was launched with £100 million of public finance in May 2012. In response to the large number of high-quality bids, the Government tripled the public support to £300 million in autumn 2012 to fund a second round of the special funding initiative.
In June 2013, the Government announced a further two rounds of UKRPIF, extending it to 2016-17 and making available an additional £200 million to be allocated over two years, taking the total government investment in the fund to £500 million.
The remaining set of successful projects from this round of UKRPIF will be announced shortly. A further £100 million of funding is available for the fourth round of the competition, which will be launched in the coming weeks.