May 4, 2018, by Rob Ounsworth
Universities at the heart of UK’s Industrial Strategy
The Industrial Strategy was published by UK Government in November 2017. The strategy aims to boost UK productivity whilst spreading prosperity to all parts of the UK.
Critically, from a University of Nottingham perspective, the strategy provides the basis of how much of the £4.7bn increase in UK science and innovation funding will be distributed.
Many of the emerging programmes will require us to work in new ways. We will build on our existing partnerships with industry, public sector and other external partners, and develop broad interdisciplinary consortia to tackle the grand challenges of artificial intelligence, clean growth, ageing society and future mobility.
The University has already seen research awards from Industrial Strategy funding schemes supporting our world-leading research in robotics, aerospace manufacturing, sustainable chemistry, animal health and crop science. There are still plenty of opportunities to engage.
New industrial strategy programmes are moving at pace with many funding calls recently released or expected over the next few months. To support our engagement with these programmes we have formed an Industrial Strategy Steering Group to co-ordinate our response to these major programmes.
These programmes include:
Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – A number of wave 2 calls are imminent with RCUK and Innovate UK calls in each of the identified topic areas of:
- From data to early diagnosis and precision medicine
- Healthy ageing
- Prospering from the energy revolution
- Transforming construction
- Transforming food production: from farm to fork
- Next generation services
- Audiences of the future
- Quantum technology
Workshops around these topics are being held over the coming weeks. We will seek to ensure University representation, as places are often limited by organisation, and disseminate information via faculty APVCs for research and the Research Priority Areas network.
Strategic Priority Fund – A new URKI competitive programme to support high quality multidisciplinary and inter-disciplinary R&D priorities. We will soon be launching an internal process to identify potential bids for this scheme.
Strength in Places Fund – Building on the Science and Innovation Audits to support collaborative programmes based on research excellence across the UK that can demonstrate a strong impact on local productivity and enhance collaboration between universities, research organisations, businesses, local government and LEPs/relevant agencies. We have begun work with local and regional partners to scope ideas for the call.
UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Programme – The aim of this programme is to grow the supply of talented individuals needed to ensure that UK research and innovation continues to be world class. The programme will specifically support early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential. The first call is out and information has been widely circulated.