We’re supporting research, development and innovation that has economic, social, environmental and health impacts across the UK.
We are working with the UK government and the devolved administrations to help more communities across the country benefit from the research and innovation we fund.
Our work includes:
- working in partnership with the UK government to develop its research and development places strategy, including through the government’s place advisory group
- involving local organisations and devolved administrations in our decision-making
- funding projects that have local impacts across the UK, including through the Strength in Places Fund.
Our impact across the UK
In the places where they happen, the activities we fund help to:
- create high-value jobs
- develop skills
- boost businesses
- attract extra investment.
These are a few examples of our impacts across the UK.
The Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) specialises in the rapid development and scale up of graphene and other 2D materials applications.
The centre’s funding sources include:
- £20 million from Research England and Innovate UK
- the government’s Local Growth Fund.
- directly generating 59 highly skilled jobs
- attracting international companies who recruit staff in Manchester
- attracting investment into the local economy
- helping to establish north-west England, where graphene was discovered, as a world-leading centre for the technology.
Project Gold Dragon (“Ddraig Aur” in Welsh) is developing drones to deliver defibrillators to remote areas of Wales, in partnership with local ambulance services. It is part of the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre.
The project has received funding from the ISCF future flight challenge and it is improving emergency services for Welsh people.
Snowdonia Aerospace Centre is expected to add:
- 515 jobs and £19.5 million a year gross value added to the area
- 765 jobs and £34 million a year gross value added in Wales.
Read about Project Gold Dragon (Arpas website).
The Higgs Centre for Innovation opened in 2018 at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) in Edinburgh. It is a dedicated business incubation centre for high-tech start-ups that have a high potential for growth.
The centre is supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
Companies in the local area benefit from:
- access to state-of-the-art facilities
- business support
- an ‘ecosystem’ of specialist knowledge in engineering and astronomy.
The centre plans to:
- ‘connect’ the small space companies operating across the central belt in Scotland with expertise
- deliver business incubation for start-ups and build a track record of supporting them.
Read about the Higgs Centre for Innovation (Royal Observatory website).
The Future Minds Research Network supports research to improve the mental health of young people in Northern Ireland. Many young people experience mental illness, despite not having lived through the worst of the conflict in the region.
The University of Ulster is leading the project, which is setting up a research community and multidisciplinary teams to work with, and for, local young people. The research will improve understanding of intergenerational trauma and explore the use of chatbots to promote wellbeing.
The network is supported by the Medical Research Council using funding from the Strategic Priorities Fund, in partnership with the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.