1. This document details policies, objectives and methods for the allocation of an additional £100 million to incentivise university collaboration in research commercialisation to contribute to the delivery of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, based on established Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) methods. It calls for first round bids and expressions of interest for second round development.
2. The Connecting Capability Fund (CCF) aims to stimulate strategic collaboration between universities, which enables them to pool expertise, build connecting capacity and share good practice. The fund complements and builds on established HEIF mechanisms.
3. Universities will be informed separately of additional formula allocations totalling £15 million for 2017-18 from the CCF. The majority of funding, £85 million, will be allocated for competitive projects and sector-wide enhancements, to be used by March 2021.
4. We are now calling for first round bids which meet fully the CCF guidance and criteria in this document to allocate a total of up to £20 million. Expressions of interest for second round bids are also invited, which will form the basis for partnership formation events over the summer. We are establishing a steering group to oversee development of the fund, which may call on other expertise as required.
5. First round bidders need to be confident that their collaboration is well founded and that they fully meet the guidance and criteria for the fund set out in this document. We are seeking exceptional projects that will generate major benefits through collaboration to deliver the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
6. We expect to refine the guidance and criteria for the fund on the basis of the outcomes of the first round bids, feedback from second round development and any new priorities identified by Government. We will issue a call for second round bids for allocation of up to £65 million, along with further information on monitoring and evaluation requirements for the fund, in autumn 2017.
7. First round bids should be sent, by email only, to firstname.lastname@example.org, by noon on Monday 10 July 2017. Expressions of interest for the second round should be sent, by email only, to email@example.com, by noon on Monday 26 June 2017.