Strength in Places Fund

The Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) invests in research and innovation projects that aim to drive economic growth in specific areas of the UK.

It has invested £186 million so far, in a first wave of consortia of research organisations, businesses and local leadership.

Strength in Places projects build on existing research excellence and supply chains and must demonstrate that they will drive significant economic impact.

Successful consortia

The fund has invested in seven projects. They were drawn from 23 projects that received seedcorn funding to develop full bids. A further 17 projects have been awarded seedcorn funding to develop bids for a limited number of full awards in a second wave.

South Wales: CS Connected

This project is building on regional strengths in advanced semiconductor materials and manufacturing. It will help South Wales’ compound semiconductor industry to create 3,000 jobs by 2025, increase its direct contribution to the local economy to £265m per year, and improve skills among local people. It will also give the UK a global advantage in technology for sectors such as 5G communications and autonomous vehicles.

It is led by Cardiff University and has received £25 million from the Strength in Places Fund.

The partners in the Strength in Places Fund bid are:

  • Swansea University
  • Compound Semiconductor Centre
  • IQE
  • Newport Wafer Fab
  • SPTS Technologies
  • Microchip Technology Caldicot
  • Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult
  • Microlink Devices UK
  • Rockley Photonics
  • Cardiff Capital Region
  • the Welsh government.

UKRI also supports compound semiconductor activities in South Wales through other funding streams including:

Belfast: Decarbonisation of Maritime Transportation – a Return to Commercial Sailing

This project is building on Belfast’s maritime heritage and world-leading expertise in advanced manufacturing and renewable energy to develop zero emissions hydrofoil ferries and a maritime transport system of the future. It is expected to create more than 1,000 new jobs in the region over 10 years, boost the local economy by £129 million and help make Belfast Harbour one of the world’s most environmentally friendly regional ports.

It is led by Artemis Technologies and has received £33 million from the Strength in Places Fund. The partners include Ards and North Down Borough Council, Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour, Belfast Met, Bombardier Belfast, Catalyst, Creative Composites, Energia Group, Invest Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University.

Central Scotland: Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence

This project will develop technology and education that will unlock financial data as a force to improve lives, helping to address challenges such as fair access to credit, property ownership and saving. It aims to establish ethical standards, train new talent to expand the sector, and build local, national and international partnerships.

It is led by the University of Edinburgh and has received £23 million from the Strength in Places Fund. The partners include the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) and FinTech Scotland.

Glasgow: The Living Laboratory

The Living Laboratory aims to create 446 high-value jobs and add £136 million to the regional economy over eight years. It is building on the region’s world-leading expertise in precision medicine. The project aims to increase cross-sector collaboration and turn research into treatments that benefit patients and make savings for the NHS locally and across Scotland.

It is led by the University of Glasgow and has received £38 million from the Strength in Places Fund. The partners include Thermo Fisher Scientific, Canon Medical Research Europe, Siemens Healthcare, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, Bioclavis, MR Coiltech, Glasgow Science Centre, Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council, Kadans Science Partner UK, Precision Medicine Scotland and iCAIRD.

Liverpool and Cheshire: Infection Innovation Consortium

This project will create eight specialist, commercially sustainable research platforms for infectious disease therapeutics in north-west England to transform product discovery and development, and help products go from lab to patients faster, cheaper and in more effective formats. It will generate hundreds of jobs in Liverpool and Cheshire, and attract substantive international investment to boost the area’s economy.

It is led by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and has received £19 million from the Strength in Places Fund. The partners include Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, AMR Centre, Evotec (UK), Unilever and the University of Liverpool.

Bristol and Bath: MyWorld

This creative hub aims to create 700 jobs by building on regional strengths in creative media production, technology and research. It will provide 1,000 square metres of new collaborative R&D facilities, fund innovative research and development, improve skills and exploit digital formats to create new experiences in fiction, documentary, games and live performance. It will enable the region’s creative sector and technology organisations to collaborate and connect regionally, nationally and globally.

It is led by the University of Bristol and has received £30 million from the Strength in Places Fund. The partners include the University of Bath, University of the West of England, Bath Spa University, BBC, British Telecom, Digital Catapult, Aardman Animations, Bristol Old Vic and Theatre Royal Trust, Watershed Arts Trust, Burrell Durrant Hifle Design and Direction, Esprit Film and Television, Opposable Games, BMT Defence Services, Ultrahaptics, Motion Impossible, John Downer Productions, Zubr Virtual Reality, Mustang Films, Limina Immersive, Films At 59, Rocketmakers, Knowle West Media Centre, Complete Control (UK), Nulight Studios, Engine Shed, Bristol Games Hub and Silverback Films.

South-east England: Growing Kent and Medway

This project is developing Kent and Medway as the UK’s leading region for climate-smart food production and processing by supporting local growers and investing in technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, and smart packaging. By 2030, it will create 1,700 jobs and add £39 million annually to the local economy.

It is led by NIAB EMR at East Malling and has received £18 million from the Strength in Places Fund. The partners include Berry Gardens Growers, Kent County Council, Medway Council, Chapel Down Group, Gusbourne Estate, Locate in Kent, APS Produce, Thanet Earth, University of Kent, Worldwide Fruit, NRI-University of Greenwich, Geku UK, Smurfit Kappa UK and Richard Hochfeld.

Future opportunities

There are no current open opportunities to develop a new consortium for investment from the Strength in Places Fund.

You can search other open funding opportunities.

Last updated: 12 April 2021

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