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£100 million fund to boost university and private collaboration opens for bids

14 May 2012

A new £100m investment fund to support research partnerships between universities, businesses, charities and philanthropic donors has opened for bids. Universities will be able to bid for between £10m and £35m per project and must be able to demonstrate that they can attract at least double the amount in private investment. Applications will be judged on value for money and how much they build on existing strong research capability.

Science minister David Willetts (pictured) said: “Collaboration between universities, charities and industry is vital for our economy, and attracts significant private investment in our world leading research base. The new £100 million Research Partnership Investment Fund will bring together leading institutions and organisations. It will support excellent projects, which could include the purchase of high cost equipment through to stimulating the development of a new research campus.”

The fund will be managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), working with its counterparts in the devolved administrations. It will be a competitive two stage process with an initial call for expressions of interest followed by an invitation for those selected to work up more detailed proposals. HEFCE is hoping to announce the successful bidders in the autumn.

HEFCE has appointed an independent assessment panel to advise the HEFCE Board on project selection. It will be chaired by Peter Saraga, former director of Philips Research Laboratories, former HEFCE board member and former vice-president of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The full details and criteria for the Research Partnership Investment Fund can be found here.

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