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HEFCE has made project capital allocations in support of learning and teaching and research since 1999.

This evaluation covers the 2006 to 2008 round of funding for research capital. The evaluation is UK wide and was carried out jointly with the other UK higher education funding bodies and with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The total HEFCE allocations for this round were £903 million.

The capital funding provided by this third round of the Science Research Investment Fund has contributed to raising research capability, research capacity and the quantity and quality of research output, thereby stimulating and supporting innovation and driving productivity and growth across the UK economy.

The funding has helped to lever in other funding. Consequently, the scale, reach and timeliness of research capital investments were greater than would otherwise have been possible. The evidence also shows that the funded investments are now more strategically focused to help support research goals.

The investment has continued to improve the quality of research and has supported new areas of research for almost all universities and colleges. Improved student and staff morale, better quality and quantity of research training and increasing interdisciplinary collaboration are also benefits associated with these capital investments. Additionally the facilities funded have contributed to attracting and retaining top quality researchers and have had a positive impact on the research skills of staff.