NEWS13 February 2024

UKRI creates four regional research projects

Inclusion News Public Sector UK

UK – UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has launched four research partnerships to address regional inequalities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Yorkshire.

Beverley, Humberside

The Local Policy Innovation Partnerships (LPIPs), which have been granted almost £20m in funding, will bring together devolved governments, local authorities, local businesses and local communities to use research and innovation to address local challenges.

UKRI said that the partnerships are intended to drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth and reduce regional disparities in the UK.

The partnerships include a Welsh initiative led by Professor Michael Woods of Aberystwyth University to develop an inclusive, sustainable, rural economy by giving local government, business and communities the evidence they need to make decisions that build prosperity and reduce inequality.

A Yorkshire collaboration, led by Professor Gary Dymski at the University of Leeds, will support inclusive and sustainable growth of jobs, businesses, culture and tourism with a focus on low-income, marginalised and isolated communities

The third project is based in Scotland and led by Professor Richard Simmons at the University of Stirling, and will focus on building inclusive economic opportunities, including jobs, around water.

The final partnership is based in Northern Ireland and is led by Professor Kristel Miller at Ulster University, focusing on boosting skills to tackle unemployment and improve economic growth.

The four projects are supported by a Birmingham-based ‘LPIPs hub’, which will share data, evidence, learning and best practice with the UK government, local authorities and researchers focusing on reducing regional inequality.

The LPIPs programme is funded by UKRI, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Innovate UK.

Professor Alison Park, head of UKRI’s creating opportunities, improving outcomes theme, said: “LPIPs demonstrate UKRI’s commitment to bringing together a diverse range of partners, from local and devolved government, communities and businesses.

“Through these long-term collaborations, we will accelerate the use of research and innovation to reduce regional inequalities and drive sustainable, inclusive growth.”

Science Minister Andrew Griffith added: “If we build on the potential of research and science clusters in the areas that need the most support, we can address local challenges and take advantage of new opportunities, ultimately creating hubs of highly-skilled jobs and growth.

“The second phase of the LPIP programme will do just that, supporting researchers to continue finding solutions to problems that matter to communities and foster sustainable growth throughout the UK.”