NEWS13 June 2023

New UKRI network to focus on research and innovation evidence

AI Innovations News Public Sector Technology UK

UK – UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the public body for innovation, is to invest £7m in a network to provide evidence to back up decisions about funding in research and innovation (R&I).

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The move builds on the previous Innovation Caucus, co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Innovate UK from 2007 until this month (June 2023 ).

The new Innovation & Research Caucus takes on a broader remit to include both innovation and research funding. Funded by UKRI via the ESRC and Innovate UK, it will be led by Professor Tim Vorley at Oxford Brookes University and Professor Stephen Roper at the University of Warwick.

Its aim will be to increase the use and influence of robust evidence and insights in UKRI’s strategies and investments in R&I.

IRC co-director Professor Tim Vorley said: “The Innovation and Research Caucus will adopt an inter-disciplinary approach and convene a network of academics from across the UK to deliver applied and actionable insights on research and innovation policy development, implementation and evaluation for UKRI.”

Work will include conducting research projects commissioned by UKRI to provide the evidence needed to inform its decision-making and investment design, and identifying what interventions might be needed to improve support for the R&I sector.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, chief executive at UKRI, said: “UKRI needs access to a robust and actionable evidence base. It also needs to bring together people with different skillsets and experience, who can work with UKRI to understand and implement the changes needed to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system which delivers for citizens across the UK.

“The Innovation and Research Caucus will have a vital role to play in providing powerful insights into what works, where and why. I look forward to working with the Caucus to create and use those insights to optimise the support we provide to the UK’s outstanding research and innovation system.”