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Capital Investment Consultation

Invitation to submit views

Research Councils UK (RCUK) invites input from those working in UK universities, research organisations and across the wider research and business communities to a Capital Investment Roadmap for research and research-led innovation.

We are looking for input from:

  • Publicly funded higher education institutions and research organisations in the UK
  • Academic subject associations
  • Learned societies
  • Organisations and business with an interest in commissioning or using academic research
  • Public sector bodies
  • Charities and other third-sector organisations with an interest in commissioning or using academic research

The Capital Investment Roadmap will replace the existing RCUK Large Facilities Roadmap, which was designed to provide a national overview of large (typically over £25M) facilities projects that could be considered as priorities for investment from the Government Large Facilities Capital Fund (LFCF).

Reflecting changes to capital funding in the 2010 spending review science settlement, the Research Councils plan to change how capital investment opportunities are considered and presented to Government.

In an altered capital environment, it is necessary to be prepared to take advantage of any funding that might become available. The Capital Investment Roadmap is designed to ensure that priorities for capital funding are well considered and clearly identified in advance, to be ready for these opportunities if and when they arise. RCUK intend that the Capital Investment Roadmap, once published, will provide a common understanding for both Government and the research community of the capital investment that is most important to underpin UK research and research-led innovation.

RCUK plan to use the responses from this consultation to help us develop the Roadmap, alongside recommendations from our various strategic advisory bodies, whose membership is widely gathered from across the research community. Taken together with Councils’ delivery plan commitments, all these inputs will be used by RCUK to determine the range of capital investment that should be included in the Roadmap.

RCUK invites respondents to submit their current priorities for significant capital investment in research and research-led innovation. Priorities for the longer term are also welcomed.

While individual organisations may wish to respond, we are particularly keen to hear from regional university groups and research consortia, or other national university groups, where they can identify important shared capital priorities for research or research-led innovation. It is vital that the Research Councils can make capital investments that have maximum benefit to the research base through shared access to facilities and shared use of equipment.

RCUK would welcome the views of your organisation about UK current priorities for significant capital investment. Responses to this consultation should be submitted online via the link below:

Please note the following guidance before completing the online survey form:

  • There are only two consultation questions (items 4 and 5 in the ‘consultation questions’ section) and both are found on the first page of the online survey form.
  • Clicking the continue button at the bottom of the first page of the online survey form will take you through to the end of the survey (page 2), and register your submission as complete.
  • Only one capital investment priority should be entered in each submission.
  • For any respondent wishing to submit multiple items, a link to complete an additional submission is displayed on the confirmation screen (page 2) once your response for the first item is complete. This will take you back to the start.
  • For additional submissions please ensure that your name and contact details are re-entered.

The deadline for response is 5pm Friday 04 May.

All enquiries relating to this consultation should be sent to You may find the answer to your enquiry within the FAQs page here.

Further information

The Capital Investment Roadmap, to be published autumn 2012, is intended to better enable Research Councils to be ready to make a compelling case for capital investment alongside other priorities across Government as and when opportunities arise.

The Capital Investment Roadmap will aim to set out the capital priorities for the UK research community. It will clearly articulate the wider benefits for the UK of maintaining a world-class research base.

It should be emphasised that Research Councils are not seeking bids for funding through this exercise – we are instead ensuring that we have identified the full range of significant capital investment necessary to underpin UK research and research-led innovation, which will be described in the Capital Investment Roadmap.

Please note that we do not need to be notified of investment priorities already listed within the existing Large Facilities Roadmap, and there is no requirement for organisations to rank their views of the investment priorities they submit.

The submission of significant capital investment priorities through this exercise in no way guarantees that funding will be available, or that specific projects will be included in the Capital Investment Roadmap.

Equally, if an institution or group does not include a particular idea, this will not limit its potential to bid for capital funding in future, for example, if the Research Councils were to run a call to invest in facilities of a particular type.

While there is no lower limit on the size of capital investment ideas you can submit, please only let us know about significant investments; those which exceed the normal capital investment capabilities of your institution, group or consortium. Please do not include smaller capital projects that are of a scale that could be financed through your own capital investment strategies.

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