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£41 million to enhance UK research and innovation clusters

By October 13, 2023No Comments

From net zero buildings to HealthTech, 10 new projects will boost UK economic growth and address regional needs.

The projects will combine some of the country’s leading engineering and physical sciences research with the ambitions of civic bodies and local business to enhance different regions’ economic capability.

Over the next four years, they will help established research and innovation clusters expand and emerging clusters develop and realise their potential.

The projects are led by consortia spread across the UK and are funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

EPSRC has awarded the consortia leading the 10 projects a total of £41 million through a new scheme called Place Based Impact Acceleration Account (PBIAA). Project partners have committed a further £7.8 million.

The awards provide research organisations with flexible funding enabling them to drive impacts from their research portfolio through a wide range of activities.

Each consortium focuses on a scientific theme in engineering and physical sciences research and targets a specific geographical area to support the expansion or development of a research and innovation cluster.

The projects will bring short and long-term benefits to regional and local economies and communities including new jobs, skills development, private investment, growth of small and medium enterprises , and more.

They also support the government’s levelling up agenda creating an opportunity for academics and civic actors to collaborate and support the development of local industry and places.

Projects will commence at the end of 2023 or the start of 2024. Round two of EPSRC’s PBIAA scheme will launch late October 2023.

HealthTech projects which have been funded include:

Accelerating Impact of Community healthCarE in Tayside (AICCET)

AICCET is based in Tayside and is led by Heriot-Watt University.

It will target health inequality in Tayside by helping to move all stages of the patient journey closer to the community through the development of technologies which address challenges in diagnosis, treatment planning and care delivery.

The AICCET consortium has gathered 14 organisations (five universities, a further education college, five civic bodies, one hospital and two NHS organisations) in the Tayside region to address the challenges of community healthcare.

EPSRC investment: £2.5 million.

Innovating medical technologies across the Yorkshire region

This project is based in West and South Yorkshire and is led by the University of Leeds.

It will support the translation of university research in medical technologies into new clinical products and services, helping grow the regional economy.

It will help drive regional economic growth, with new innovations being adopted by regional industry, creating high value jobs and unlocking private sector investment in research and development, supporting a projected £3 billion per year industry beyond 2035.

EPSRC investment: £5 million.