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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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The N8 Research Partnership is a collaboration of the eight research-intensive universities in the north of England (Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York) (Note 2). The Agri-Food Resilience Programme, a multi-disciplinary initiative, will build on the Partnership’s strengths in science, engineering and the social sciences to address critical challenges in food security, including sustainable food production, resilient food supply chains, improved nutrition, and business and consumer behaviours.

HEFCE’s funding will be matched by the N8 universities.

David Sweeney, Director of Research, Education and Knowledge Exchange at HEFCE, said:

‘This is an important collaborative project involving a strong partnership of universities with relevant and complementary expertise in research and knowledge exchange.

‘Food security is a strategic priority for the nation. This investment will support higher education to deliver new translational research activity with business, and complements other agri-tech developments HEFCE is supporting.’


    1. The HEFCE Catalyst Fund supports innovative and exceptional activity across the higher education sector in teaching, research and knowledge exchange. The fund provides investment in projects which will achieve major strategic changes and provide ongoing benefits for higher education and wider society that would not happen without additional support.
    2. Read more about the N8 Research Partnership