Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Creating opportunities, improving outcomes

Improve outcomes for people and places across the UK by identifying solutions that promote economic and social prosperity.

2023 to 2029
Partners involved:
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Innovate UK, Medical Research Council (MRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

The scope and what we're doing

Through our five year strategy Transforming Tomorrow Together 2022 to 2027, UKRI aims to harness the full power of the UK’s research and innovation system to tackle large-scale, complex challenges. To do this, we have identified five strategic themes to enable working across disciplines and leveraging new and existing investment and activity.

Creating opportunities and improving outcomes is one of the themes.

The mission of the theme is to improve outcomes for people and places across the UK by identifying solutions that promote economic and social prosperity.

UKRI research, infrastructure and knowledge mobilisation work has already made huge strides in identifying and defining the challenges associated with disparities and in building the capability needed to improve economic and social opportunities.

Creating opportunities and improving outcomes will build upon these foundations to investigate disparities and develop the conditions and solutions to help people and communities to thrive, filling what we know to be gaps in existing activity.

It will work at scale across disciplines and incentivise connections across:

  • the research and innovation system
  • government
  • industry
  • civil society


Economic growth and innovation​

Addressing long standing regional economic disparities and delivering solutions that focus on sustainable, inclusive growth and innovation.

Health inequalities​

Understanding the causes and effects of disparities in population health across the UK, and identifying sustainable and cost-effective solutions to these.

Community connectedness

Strengthening civic engagements, relationships, trust, and local pride to reduce the social and economic marginalisation of groups and areas​.

In addition to the three sub-themes, the funding for this theme will support new cross-cutting activity. The activity is focused on coordinating, connecting, convening, and generating robust evidence on cost-effective solutions to reducing spatial disparities and promoting prosperity.

Current investments

Details of live funding opportunities supported by the theme can be viewed under the ‘opportunities, support and resources available’ section of this web page.

Details of funding opportunities supported by the theme that have now closed include:

Why we're doing it

Our approach will take account of multiple layers of potential intervention, from the macro to local levels. With growing investment, more comprehensive and integrated data, and new data analytics, UKRI can enable research that drives better outcomes for people and communities across the UK.

Impacts in the longer term could include:

  • inclusive and sustainable local economic growth
  • reducing disparities in population health across the UK
  • enhanced community resilience to environmental, economic, political, and social shocks and stresses
  • enhanced sense of community, attachment to place, and sense of belonging
  • widespread adoption of more inclusive technologies that are accessible, safer and trustworthy

Last updated: 11 June 2024

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