Strength in Places Fund

Led by UK Research and Innovation, Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) is a new competitive funding scheme that takes a place-based approach to research and innovation funding, to support significant regional growth.

UKRI is pleased to confirm that Wave 2 will be launched in the coming months.

23 bids have been awarded seedcorn funding in Wave 1 to develop full stage bids that will be submitted to a closed call in September 2019. Details of the 23 awards receiving seed corn funding in Wave 1.

Objectives of the fund

The high level aims of the Strength in Places Fund are:

  • To support innovation-led relative regional growth by identifying and supporting areas of R&D strengths that are:
     
    • driving clusters of businesses across a range of sizes that have potential to innovate, or to adopt new technologies;
    • in order that those clusters will become nationally and internationally competitive.
       
  • To enhance local collaborations involving research and innovation. Building on the underpinning regional economic impact role of universities, research institutes, Catapults and other R&D facilities (such as Innovation and Knowledge Centres - IKCs); and engaging those businesses at the forefront of delivering economic growth through innovation within the identified economic geography.

The specific objectives for the SIPF are:

  • Funded activities contribute towards significant, relative regional economic growth – we define ‘relative’ economic growth as having a significant impact locally that closes the gap between that region and the best nationally.
     
    • These activities must be in line with UKRI’s mission, where the focus is on supporting those businesses and research organisations at, or near to the frontier of the economy.
       
  • Excellent research and high-quality innovation is completed, or underway as a result of funded proposals.
     
  • Collaborations between local businesses, research organisations and local leadership are enhanced as a result of the funded proposals.
     
  • The evidence base around the impact of locally targeted R&D spending in the UK is improved. This will be assessed from a programme-level perspective.
     
  • Funded proposals deliver good value for money relative to the area being supported, and in terms of additionality.

Who can apply to Wave 2

SIPF is a competitive fund for collaborative bids between businesses and research organisations. Bids must demonstrate strong engagement with local leadership partners. SIPF will welcome bids that are led by either research organisations or business.

How to apply to Wave 2

UKRI will announce Wave 2 in the coming months, and will publish full call documentation and FAQs, as well as details on how to submit an online application.

Wave 2 Stakeholder events

For Wave 2, UKRI will hold a series of stakeholder events across the UK:

  • Newcastle – Wednesday 15 May
  • Plymouth – Friday 17 May
  • Peterborough – Thursday 23 May
  • Sheffield – Wednesday 29 May
  • Swansea – Friday 31 May
  • Belfast – Tuesday 4 June
  • Birmingham (2 sessions) – Friday 7 June
  • Liverpool – Wednesday 12 June
  • Glasgow – Tuesday 18 June
  • London (2 sessions) – Thursday 20 June.

For more details, including how to register interest, please go to the events sign up page.

For reference, in May and June 2018 we held a series of stakeholder events across the UK which focused on ‘place’ and included an introduction to the Strength in Places Wave 1 call for expressions of interest. The slide pack for these events is available as a download below, together with recordings of the three presentations given at each event:

Assessment Panel membership

The SIPF Assessment Panel membership is as follows:

  • Chair: Dame Kate Barker
  • Sir Peter Bazalgette, ITV
  • Professor Rick Delbridge, Cardiff University
  • Professor Iain Gray, Cranfield University
  • Catherine Johns, Business Durham
  • Professor Richard Jones, University of Sheffield
  • Dr Soraya Jones, The Invested Investor, The Bradfield Centre
  • Professor Tara McMullen, University of Ulster
  • Professor Lesley Yellowlees, University of Edinburgh (retired).

Call documents as issued for Wave 1

Further information

Queries not addressed by the guidance documents available on this page can be sent to SIPF.