Today the Research Councils UK (RCUK) has launched reports detailing the impacts of a collective investment of £3.4Bn in 2015/16. This investment drives economic growth by helping to deliver the UK’s Industrial Strategy of increasing productivity, creating high-value industry, jobs and a skilled workforce.
These impact reports showcase specific examples of the impact of investment through our various awards, programmes and collaborations. The wide-ranging nature of the impact extends from furthering technological advances to combatting disease to breakthroughs in the creative economy.
From a purely financial and business perspective that £3.4 billion of research funding has already leveraged an additional £229m of funding from other partners. That is an additional investment of 7% from commercial, international and academic partner organisations wanting to work with UK researchers. In addition that research has already led to the creation of 57 new spin-out companies and 182 instances of new intellectual property.
Professor Philip Nelson, Chair of Research Councils UK, said; "These latest impact reports are valuable documents because they not only show the breadth and diversity of the research the UK research councils fund but also draw attention to the benefits science, engineering and the arts and humanities bring to the lives of UK citizens."
"Often these positive impacts go unnoticed because they are connected to processes that go on behind the scenes or they are in areas that enable other areas of science, technology and wider research to move ahead. However, these are important stories to tell as they inform the public and can also inspire tomorrow's engineers, scientists and researchers."
In medical research alone a 17% return on public investment has already been reported. Whilst internationally the work supported by the UK research councils has led to new relationships with over 5,000 partners in 88 other countries, placing UK research at the centre of a truly global research landscape.
Key examples of major success thanks to the support of the Research Councils UK include:
These reports lay out how investments align to the strategic goals of the UK research councils and how they have delivered outcomes as well as pulling out highlights that show where long-term investments in the UK's research base and researchers have led to significant scientific advancements and innovations.
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RCUK Communications Team
Tel: 01793 444067 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A set of slides summarising key impacts is available.
The seven UK Research Councils are the largest funders of research across the UK, covering all disciplines and sectors*. The wide-ranging nature of the impact extends from pushing the frontiers of human understanding through providing world-class research facilities to applying knowledge and ideas to create new high value businesses to deliver new products and services. Each Research Council has produced its own report, showcasing specific examples of the impact of investment through their various awards, programmes and collaborations.
Through investment the Research Councils drive economic growth in the UK and by working in partnership, the Research Councils combine investments in a multitude of global societal and economic challenge areas to achieve even greater impact making the UK the Global partner of choice. The impact reports also demonstrate that the UK continues to be a world leading research economy ranking first amongst its comparator counties by field-weighted citation impact, an indicator of research quality.**
Links to Impact Reports are available below:
Impact – in numbers
*The Research Councils are the largest funders of externally-funded university research (32%). Data supplied by the Higher Education Statistics Authority and excludes the block grants awarded to higher education institutions by the Higher Education Funding Councils
** The comparator countries are seven other research-intensive countries (Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US) and three other fast growing nations (Brazil, India and Russia).