Last week, Research England published IP Pragmatic’s interim review of the 18 CCF projects that are part-way through their three-year funding cycle (concluding in March 2021). The review is highly positive and demonstrates the skills and creativity of the KE professionals and researchers involved, along with many external partners.
The CCF was launched to encourage collaboration between universities in their research commercialisation activities; a key activity for implementation of the Industrial Strategy and achieving the 2.4% R&D target. Following last week’s budget and the more than doubling of research investment, the CCF review delivers important messages around the issues and challenges of research commercialisation and collaboration, including between HEIs, and how they can be overcome through training, sharing good practice, and developing new approaches to often well-known problems.
The report makes clear that CCF funding is not a replacement for other types of innovation funding, in particular the Higher Education innovation Fund which has created an ‘underpinning’ resource of people skilled in collaboration and commercialisation. This resource means that many projects have been able to get up and running relatively quickly although the short timescale of the funding is highlighted as challenging. This is serving to focus activities though and IP Pragmatic’s review clearly articulates the already impressive impacts – intended and unintended – that these projects are having on KE people and practice.
Tamsin Mann, Head of Policy at PraxisAuril said:
“The CCFs are a tremendously positive initiative and deserve a higher profile collectively and individually. The variety of CCF projects demonstrates the breadth and diversity of KE activity, and the skills and creativity of our university-based members. The report is a really welcome celebration of what KE can achieve and I look forward to the next phase of activity.”