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Strength in Places Fund

What is the Strength in Places Fund?

The Strength in Places Fund is a UKRI pathfinder programme that invests in research and innovation projects to boost research and innovation capacity in specific areas of the UK, in order to drive economic growth in those areas.

It does this by funding consortia of research organisations, businesses and local leadership, to do research and innovation that will have an impact on local economic growth.

To date, £186m of SIPF funding has been allocated.

The aims of the Strength in Places Fund are:  

  • to support innovation-led relative economic growth, closing the gap between the rate of growth in the area and nationally
  • to enhance local collaborations involving research and innovation.

Find out more

Information and guidance for applicants.

Projects funded by Strength in Places

Wave 1 full stage awards

In May 2020, seven projects were awarded full stage funding from wave 1 of SIPF.

Read the press release about these awards.

South Wales

CS Connected 

SIPF investment: £25m

Consortium lead: Cardiff University

Consortium partners: CSconnected Ltd, Swansea University, Compound Semiconductor Centre Ltd, IQE PLC, Newport Wafer Fab Ltd, SPTS Technologies Ltd, Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult Ltd, Microlink Devices UK LTD, Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, Rockley Photonics Ltd, Microchip Technology Caldicot Ltd and Welsh Government 

The CS Connected SIPF project focuses on strengthening an emerging regional cluster in advanced semiconductor materials and manufacturing to bring socio-economic benefits to South Wales. The cluster already hosts 1,400 high value manufacturing jobs in the region, and is delivering well above average contributions to productivity, global exports and regional Gross Value Add (GVA) across a well-defined ~$100B global market opportunity. The primary aim of the project is to develop a global advantage in a sovereign, key enabling technology which will allow the UK to increase trade globally in critical sectors such as communications, 5G, autonomous and electric vehicles, medical devices. It will also include a significant provision of training to enhance skills across the region through a compound semiconductor skills academy. 

CS Connected has also received funding from EPSRC.

Northern Ireland

Decarbonisation of Maritime Transportation - a Return to Commercial Sailing 

SIPF investment: £33m 

Consortium lead: Artemis Technologies Ltd

Consortium partners: Ards & North Down Borough Council,  Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour, Belfast Met, Bombardier Belfast, Catalyst, Creative Composites, Energia Group,  Invest Northern Ireland, NIACE (Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering), Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University

Led by America's Cup spin-off, Artemis Technologies, the Belfast Maritime consortium brings together established and young companies, academia and public bodies. The project will build on Belfast's proud maritime heritage, world leading expertise in advanced manufacturing, and renewable energy, to develop zero emissions hydrofoiling ferries and a maritime transport system of the future. It will create a pathway to high skilled jobs, inspire the next generation, and position Belfast as a global leader in zero emissions maritime technology.


Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence  

SIPF investment: £23m 

Consortium lead: University of Edinburgh

Consortium partners: The Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) Global and Fintech Scotland

The Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE) will develop world-class technology and education that will enhance financial services and deliver social and economic benefits. It will provide a trusted environment to address pressing societal challenges and research around Open Finance, aiming to rebalance markets in favour of consumers and deliver long-term research insights into public earning, spending and saving. It will draw on expertise from across Scotland’s universities, financial services and financial technology sectors and will establish ethical standards, train new talent to expand the sector, and build local, national and international partnerships.

The Living Laboratory 

SIPF investment: £38m 

Consortium lead: University of Glasgow

Consortium partners: Thermo Fisher Scientific, Canon Medical Research Europe Ltd, Siemens Healthcare Ltd, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, Bioclavis, Aridhia, MR Coiltech Ltd, Glasgow Science Centre, Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council, Kadans Science Partner UK Ltd, Precision Medicine Scotland and iCAIRD Ltd

The University of Glasgow’s Precision Medicine Living Lab will be an internationally leading project focused on translating cutting-edge science and innovation into a real world clinical setting. The Living Lab will be situated at the University of Glasgow academic campus adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Govan. It will build on the existing world-leading ecosystem already in place in the city and, by facilitating even more cross-sector collaborations, will address the biggest challenge currently facing Precision Medicine: the translation of research innovation into clinical practice for the benefit of patients. The Living Lab is projected to deliver 446 high-value jobs and £136m GVA over an eight-year period.

North-west England

Delivering Integrated Solutions for Human Infections 

SIPF investment: £19m 

Consortium lead: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine 

Consortium partners: Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, AMR Centre Ltd, Evotec (UK) Ltd, Unilever Plc, University of Liverpool 

Based in the Liverpool City Region and Cheshire and Warrington, this academia/industry/NHS North West consortium will deliver integrated solutions for human infections. It will boost economic and regional productivity by creating eight specialist, commercially sustainable research platforms for infectious disease therapeutics in north-west England that transform the efficiency of new product discovery, development, evaluation and impact assessment. The project will generate jobs and value for the Liverpool City Region and Cheshire and Warrington, and attract substantive international investment.   

South-west England

My World 

SIPF investment: £30m 

Consortium lead: University of Bristol 

Consortium partners: University of Bath, University of the West of England, Bath Spa University, BBC, British Telecom, Digital Catapult, Aardman Animations Ltd, Bristol Old Vic and Theatre Royal Trust Ltd, Watershed Arts Trust Ltd, Burrell Durrant Hifle Design & Direction Ltd, Esprit Film and Television Ltd, Opposable Games Ltd, BMT Defence Services Limited, Ultrahaptics Ltd, Motion Impossible Ltd, John Downer Productions Ltd, Zubr Virtual Reality Ltd, Mustang Films Ltd, Limina Immersive Ltd, Films At 59 Ltd, Rocketmakers Ltd, Knowle West Media Centre, Complete Control (UK) Ltd, Nulight Studios Ltd, Engine Shed, Bristol Games Hub Ltd, Silverback Films Ltd

MyWorld will build on the creative media production, technology and research strengths of the Bristol and Bath region. It will invest in major new collaborative facilities, fund innovative R&D programmes and support the talent pipeline in this key sector, exploiting digital formats to create new experiences across fiction, documentary, games and live performance. MyWorld will boost productivity, enhance international collaboration and create a platform for inward investment and new jobs, transitioning the region’s creative cluster from one of the best in the UK to one of the best in the world.

South-east England

Growing Kent and Medway 

SIPF investment: £18m 

Consortium lead: NIAB EMR at East Malling

Consortium partners: Berry Gardens Growers, Kent County Council, Medway Council, Chapel Down Group Plc, Gusbourne Estate Ltd, Locate in Kent Ltd, APS Produce Ltd, Thanet Earth Ltd, University of Kent, Worldwide Fruit Ltd, NRI-University of Greenwich, Geku UK Ltd, Smurfit Kappa UK Ltd, Richard Hochfeld Ltd

This world-class research, innovation and enterprise platform will develop Kent and Medway as the UK’s leading region for the climate-smart production and processing of high-value foods and plant-based compounds. Increased investment in emerging technologies such as AI, automation and smart packaging for food production will enable the sector to be more efficient in resource use, minimise/re-use waste and produce safe, affordable, nutritious produce, foods and plant-based compounds. Growing Kent & Medway will drive innovation, productivity and sustainable growth in an area with significant socio-economic growth potential by building on its rich heritage of food production.

Wave 1 seedcorn awards

In March 2019, a total of 23 projects were awarded seedcorn funding (worth a total of £1.2m) to develop bids for the full stage awards, with the intention that up to eight of these would receive full stage funding.

Details of all 23 projects that received seedcorn funding in Wave 1

Wave 2 seedcorn awards

In July 2020, 17 projects were awarded seedcorn funding (worth a total of £821,000) to develop bids for full stage awards. A limited number of these will receive full stage funding if their full stage bids are successful.

Details of all 17 projects that received seedcorn funding in SIPF Wave 2.

Read our news story about these awards.