21 May 2024

£3 million international campaign to bring investment to East Midlands universities welcomed by Chamber

Picture of University of Nottingham

East Midlands Chamber has said the regional economy could benefit from a £3 million campaign to attract international investment into the area’s universities.

The University of Leicester, Loughborough University, De Montfort University, Derby University and the University of Nottingham are part of a coalition of 17 universities in the Invest in UK University R&D – Midlands Campaign.  The £3 million fund for science, innovation, research and development is made up of £1.5 million from the UK’s International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF) over the next two years, which is then matched by universities and regional partners.

Midlands Innovation and the Midlands Engine Partnership are leading the campaign, which has been developed with a set of regional partners including Midlands Enterprise Universities and East Midlands Freeport.

The campaign was launched at the UK Real Estate, Infrastructure and Investment Forum (UKREIIF) at Loughborough University which was attended by nearly 13,000 investors, delegates and developers.

East Midlands Chamber Chief Executive Scott Knowles said: “Talent and innovation are key pillars in powering the East Midlands economy, so I very much welcome this initiative, elevating the region’s position on a global stage and drawing international investment.  The standard of research and development in East Midlands universities is world class and further enabling progress in areas like AI and life sciences to thrive will drive economic growth.”

Midlands Engine Partnership Chairman Sir John Peace said: “This funding will provide a platform for us to showcase the unique strengths of the Midlands and position our region on the global investment map. This programme is a perfect example of how the power of partnership between the Midlands Engine and our fantastic universities is helping extend the global reach of our region.”

Arts and Humanities Research Council Executive Chair, Professor Christopher Smith said: “This campaign and the accompanying University Investment Prospectuses – the first of their kind in the UK – brilliantly showcase the outstanding opportunity for international business and investors to come to the Midlands. There they will immediately benefit from access to the eco-system of innovation, collaboration and world-class facilities, talent and technology that emanate from our great universities. I am particularly pleased to see the focus on the creative industries, which will deliver opportunities to invest in UK university R&D to markets across the world, and bring benefit back to the UK, including here in the Midlands.”

The campaign is also being supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the UK’s Global Science and Innovation Network (SIN), which is jointly funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).