UKRI awards £41m to enhance UK research and innovation – PharmaTimes

UKRI awards £41m to enhance UK research and innovation - PharmaTimes

The scheme will help ten projects establish research and innovation clusters

The UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Engineering and Physical Science’s Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded ten new projects a total of £41m to enhance UK research and innovation.

Over the next four years, the new Place Based Impact Acceleration Account (PBIAA) scheme will combine the UK’s leading engineering and physical science research to help established research and innovation clusters expand and help to develop emerging clusters.

The projects will provide long- and short-term benefits to regional and local economies and communities, including new jobs, skill development, private investment and the growth of small and medium enterprises.

Alongside the EPSRC’s funding, an additional £7.8m has been committed by project partners.

An investment of £4.9m will go towards ‘the industrial biotechnology innovation cluster project’, led by the University of Manchester.

The project will apply cross-disciplinary technologies that use biological resources for producing and processing products, including food, fuels and medicines, to meet urgent societal needs.

The PBIAA will stimulate £2.5m in cash and £4m in-kind co-investment, establish 150 collaborative projects, train over 200 students to take on careers in the biotechnology industry and establish more than 20 new commercial ventures.

Additionally, a further £5m will go towards the University of Leeds’s ‘innovating medical technologies across the Yorkshire region’ project to support university research in medical technologies.

Science minister George Freeman said: “The UK is already home to clusters of world-class science and technology talent, bringing together top universities, cutting-edge research institutes and enterprising businesses of all sizes and it is crucial we channel these hubs of scientific advance and growth to level up our country.

“Our £41m investment will help enhance these clusters’s vast potential for the good of our local economies and the wider country.”

The projects will begin either at the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024 and the second round of EPSRC’s PBIAA scheme will launch in late October 2023.