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The new funding of £120 million over the next four years is intended to provide support for collaborative projects and activities between universities, across the range of knowledge exchange activity (for example technology transfer and spin-outs). The fund’s focus on collaboration will enable universities to pool expertise sustainably, respond flexibly to industry and regional priorities, and make it easier for businesses to access opportunities to work with them.

The funding, which will be administered by HEFCE, is part of a package of support announced by the Chancellor which includes £220 million for the life science and university sectors to help technology breakthroughs translate into commercial success, as well as action to ensure disruptive businesses thrive in the UK.

HEFCE will be working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to develop detailed proposals for allocating this funding to support universities in England. The new funding will build on the well established Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF), which supports the range of knowledge exchange activities that result in economic and social impact.

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