Economic and Social Research Council
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UKRI invests in policy innovation partnerships for local growth

Local Policy Innovation Partnerships (LPIPs) will establish network to harness the power of research and innovation to benefit all four nations of the UK.

The £23 million LPIPs programme has been designed to support local and national policymakers in tackling levelling up challenges, driving sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and reducing regional disparities in the UK. It has been developed as part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) creating opportunities and improving outcomes theme.

The scheme will build cross-sector partnerships that aim to address policy challenges that matter to local people and communities by:

  • generating insight and understanding into local challenges and opportunities
  • working with stakeholders to implement evidence-informed, actionable solutions

Two-phase funding

The LPIPs have been funded through an independently reviewed, innovative two-phase competitive process. In phase one of the programme, 10 LPIPs have received up to £50,000 of seed corn funding each.

This funding will enable them to build local partnerships and co-develop a research agenda to deliver strong proposals for phase two, where up to four LPIPs will receive up to £4.8 million each.

The local challenges the LPIP programme will explore during phase one include addressing skills gaps in Northern Ireland and the West Midlands, and boosting innovation in new green technologies in South Yorkshire’s supply chains.

Ultimate engine for local growth

Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation George Freeman MP said:

Research and innovation is the ultimate engine for local growth in the UK, as shown by the impact of high-tech and science clusters across every region of the UK, from Cornwall to the Highlands. But in order to build on this potential, we need detailed knowledge of what works in the places where growth is needed the most.

The Local Policy Innovation Partnerships represent a fantastic opportunity to gather that knowledge and insight, ensuring cross-pollination of ideas and sharing of expertise between stakeholders at both a local and a national level, delivering real benefits and growth.

Place-based solutions

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Interim Executive Chair Professor Alison Park said:

From bridging skills gaps to promoting cultural recovery and building a greener economy, the LPIPs present an exciting new way of using the UK’s strengths in research and innovation to contribute to developing place-based solutions to some of the UK’s most pressing local and regional challenges.

This first round of funding will enable the LPIPs to build the robust, wide-reaching partnerships necessary to give their proposals the best possible chance of delivering real results for communities and the country as a whole.

The partnerships will work with a £3.6 million LPIP hub hosted by the University of Birmingham that will help them formulate solutions to local challenges and bring research, policy, and third and private sector stakeholders together.

The LPIPs programme is funded via:

The LPIP hub

The LPIP hub is a national consortium, led by City Region Economic and Development Institute, at the University of Birmingham.

The hub will work with the 10 phase one LPIPs to deliver high-quality collaboration with local and national partners, developing the evidence for further investment in phase two.

It will do this by:

  • supporting the development of phase two bids, working with national and local government to enhance partnerships
  • enabling LPIPs to access data, evidence and expertise from the broader research and innovation system to address local need
  • ensuring the LPIPs have a strong focus on local research users and the communities they serve
  • evaluating what works across the programme and reviewing impact and change as the scheme develops

The LPIP hub will also act as a gateway for national policymakers and government bodies to gain local insights from the LPIPs and interact with them.

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