The Connecting Capability Fund (CCF) began in 2017, awarding competitive projects funding for collaborations between universities and with private sector partners, to achieve more effective research commercialisation and collaboration with business partners.
Building on insights from CCF, a Programme Enhancement Team (PET) was formed to draw out best practices, lessons learnt and guidance materials, benefitting cohorts of CCF projects and the wider higher education sector, as well as informing national policy and funding.
Research England is also working with the Commercialisation and Innovation Policy Evidence Unit at the University of Cambridge to improve evidence and metrics for commercialisation.
In 2022 Research England announced that the CCF programme will continue to focus on stimulating scale and collaboration in commercialisation through competitively won projects, but using simplified mechanisms from the council’s Research England Development (RED) fund.
To make the programme even more effective we have also appointed an Expert Commercialisation Group made up of partners in the UK and overseas, to identify key priorities for funding and globally leading solutions. Taking account of evidence on success in commercialisation to date, the group is currently advising on a long-term programme for investment – with short (this stage) and then medium to long-term horizons.
Pre-announcement of first CCF-RED funding opportunity
Research England intends to publish the first CCF-RED time-limited funding opportunity for projects in June 2023. The focus is on the short-term horizon to the CCF programme, supporting projects that will address gaps in the essential ingredients to successful commercialisation and business engagement. This will provide a strong platform for investment in large-scale medium-long term projects, the priorities for which, are under development to be published for bidding in the autumn.
In the short-term funding opportunity, we expect to fund around £20 million of bids of up to £1.5 million over one to two years, focused on key development areas:
- ecosystem development
- proof of concept
- critical training
- physical infrastructure for commercialisation
We will announce further details on this opportunity in a circular letter in June 2023.
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