UK government allocates £1bn for science innovation

09 October 2012

Posted by Satvir Bhullar

Science projects of global importance will benefit from a new pot of money created by the Government, universities and industry in the UK.

The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UK RPIF) is receiving a £200 million boost from Westminster, in addition to private and higher education cash in order to ensure Britain leads the world in the field of innovation.

Unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne and David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science, the joint funding will be allocated to long-term university capital schemes.

Initially launched in the 2012 Budget, the UK RPIF was massively over-subscribed and has now been extended to allow for a greater number of high quality bids to be accepted, more than doubling the projects benefiting from the fund.

Universities are required to find significant levels of match funding for any initiatives and the scheme is reopening for new submissions as a result of the injection of additional money.

Funding has already been allocated to innovative projects including a £60 million partnership between the University of Birmingham and Rolls-Royce to create a new research facility for high temperature metallurgy and associated processes and a consortium working with the University of Oxford to establish a centre for drug target discovery and medical data sets research.

The multi-million pound initiatives have been provided with grants of between £10 million and £35 million, with applications judged on research capabilities and value for money, with the fund managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

An announcement was recently made by the Government that it is investing a total of £10 million in efforts to assist universities in making publicly-funded research findings more openly available.

Unveiled by Mr Willetts, the money will be used to move towards open access when it comes to such data and ensure a number of institutions can meet the costs of enacting the recommendations of June's Finch Report on the subject.

"This will usher in a new era of academic discovery and keep the UK at the forefront of research to drive innovation and growth," the minister declared.

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