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'Strength in Places' Fund welcomed by Combined Authority

5 June 2018

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Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority has welcomed the new ‘Strength in Places’ (SIP) fund from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and encouraged local organisations to submit an expression of interest.

The £115m SIP Fund has officially launched a call for expressions of interest from businesses and research organisations to support innovation-led growth and enhance local collaborations.

Closing on Wednesday 25th July, the competitive SIP fund is open for collaborative bids between businesses and research organisations who can demonstrate strong engagement with local leadership partners.

The high level aims of the SIP Fund are to support innovation-led regional growth by identifying and supporting areas of research and development that will drive clusters of businesses who have the potential to innovate or adopt new technologies, and to help those clusters become nationally and internationally competitive. The Fund also seeks to enhance local collaborations involving research and innovation, building on the underpinning regional economic impact of Universities, research institutes, Catapults and other organisations.

Mayor James Palmer welcomed the announcement and commented:

“As an area renowned for our strength in the field of innovation we welcome any additional funding that has the potential to further develop the strength of our place in the national and international marketplace. The recently released Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER) interim report showcases both the opportunities and the challenges that our area faces in the coming years – challenges that require further investment to address.

“It is vital that organisations in our area secure funding to support the growth of our innovation cluster to address the challenges set out in the Science and Innovation Audit for the East of England that was published last year and to ultimately deliver both new jobs and economic growth.”

As part of the Expression of Interest process, organisations can request the support of the Combined Authority. The Combined Authority are therefore encouraging interested parties to provide them with early sight of Expressions of Interest if organisations would like support.

UKRI lead on the Strength in Places Fund, David Sweeney, said:

“The new UKRI Strength in Places Fund is a major new competitive fund looking to support regional research and innovation clusters. It will support activities from consortia that strengthen local collaboration between the research base, businesses and local leadership, in order to guide investment, unlock synergy and drive significant relative economic growth. We welcome the proactive support of local leaders looking to engage.”

The specific objectives for the SIP Fund are:

  • Funded activities contribute towards significant, relative regional economic growth – we define ‘relative’ economic growth as having a significant impact locally that closes the gap between that region and the best nationally.
  • These activities must be in line with UKRI’s mission, where the focus is on supporting those businesses and research organisations at, or near to the frontier of the economy.
  • Excellent research and high-quality innovation is completed, or underway as a result of funded proposals.
  • Collaborations between local businesses, research organisations and local leadership are enhanced as a result of the funded proposals.
  • The evidence base around the impact of locally targeted R&D spending in the UK is improved. This will be assessed from a programme-level perspective.
  • Funded proposals deliver good value for money relative to the area being supported, and in terms of additionality

You can find out more here: https://www.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/strength-in-places-fund/

To contact the Combined Authority to request their support please email contactus@cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk.