University Joins £3m Campaign to Drive Midlands Economic Growth

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The University of Lincoln, UK, has joined a groundbreaking coalition of 17 universities, in support of a £3m international campaign which has been launched this week to drive economic growth in the Midlands.

Each year, the University contributes more than £400 million to the local economy and has forged sustainable, long-term relationships with a diverse range of organisations. These global connections will be leveraged to attract inward investment into R&D, innovation and science. This important work supports the University’s ambitions laid out in its Strategic Plan 2022-27 – of being a university which contributes significantly to the success of the region and beyond.

The campaign is led by Midlands Innovation and the Midlands Engine Partnership and hosted at Loughborough University, the Invest in UK University R&D – Midlands Campaign has been developed with a range of regional partners including the West Midlands Growth Company, Midlands Enterprise Universities and the East Midlands Freeport. It was launched at the UK Real Estate, Infrastructure and Investment Forum (UKREIIF), attended by nearly 13,000 investors, delegates and developers.

The university consortium will showcase five sectors in which the Midlands is world-renowned for the strength of its research and innovation. International alumni, industry and university connections in six markets (Australia, Germany, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the USA) will be drawn upon to engage investors and raise the profile of the Midlands.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, Professor Neal Juster, said: “The University of Lincoln is proud to be a member of this consortium whose aims align with, and further support, its commitment to driving economic growth and prosperity in the region and contributing significantly to the nation’s success through regional regeneration and international connectivity.

“This campaign will help to redefine how academia works in partnership with industry, and we look forward to showcasing what the University of Lincoln has to offer. From its R&D equipment and facilities spanning a range of key disciplines such as agri-food, engineering, and life science technologies, we have a wealth of opportunities for collaboration with.

“An example of this is the University’s sector-leading Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology, which was recently awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its work supporting the success and sustainability of the UK’s food and farming industries through innovations in research, education and technology.”

Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation, Andrew Griffith MP, announced an award of £1.5 million from the UK’s International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF) to support the campaign over the next two years, which has been matched by universities and regional partners. The Minister said: “The UK is home to world class research hubs and by bringing together the expertise and connections of universities, government and industry, we can bolster our efforts to win international investment into some of the Midlands’ strongest sectors.

“Our country’s universities have directly attracted around £4bn of foreign investment into their research since 2015. Today’s new campaign, supported by £1.5m from the Government’s International Science Partnership Fund, will help bring in more backing for the region’s excellent research.”

Aligning with the priorities of the new West and East Midlands Mayors and other local leaders, the campaign will help promote the region as an outstanding destination for global investment. It will support efforts from government and local growth agencies to secure game-changing funding for major regeneration projects across the region that have universities as a core partner.

The campaign will also work closely with Midlands Mindforge, an independent patient capital investment company, established by the eight research intensive universities in the Midlands Innovation partnership. Midlands Mindforge aims to deploy £250m to “invest with impact”, founding and scaling transformational science backed companies in sectors such as Clean Technologies, AI & Computational Science, Life Sciences & Health Tech. It will create highly skilled jobs in the Midlands and support the UK’s ambition to become a science and technology superpower.

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).

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