The University of Strathclyde has won a grant worth a total of £1.25 million to enhance the impact of its research on the economy, the environment and society.
Strathclyde has been awarded the funding over five years in an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation.
The University will use the funding to build on the infrastructure laid by economic and social science research. It will be deployed in three key themes:
- Inclusive productivity, prosperity and growth
- Transforming and innovating public services
- Society, environment and global development.
The IAA will expand on the output of the University’s centres and initiatives, including the Centre for Energy Policy, Centre for Sustainable Development, Health & Care Futures, the Scottish Centre for Employment Research and Glasgow City Innovation District, in which Strathclyde is based.
IAAs enable research organisations to support a wide range of social, economic and behavioural science impact activities. The funding generates greater benefits from research, helping create a more prosperous, inclusive, healthy and secure society. Strathclyde is among 32 institutions, including four in Scotland, receiving funding in the current round.
Professor Tim Bedford, Associate Principal at Strathclyde, said: “We are delighted to have secured this valuable funding, which will enable us grow and accelerate the impact of our economic and social sciences research.
“We will use this ESRC IAA to transform and translate our world-leading research, and associated outputs, into meaningful impact with the aim of co-creating fairer lives, communities and societies.
“Strathclyde is well known for its work on big societal challenges which typically require contributions from many different disciplines to develop a 'whole systems approach.' This award will enable us to support our economics and social science colleagues to bring their expertise into these challenges. For example in climate change and adaptation, and in the development and adoption of innovation and technology, stimulating and enhancing our knowledge exchange, commercialisation activity and resultant impact.”
We will use our ESRC IAA to implement a Knowledge Exchange Champion model, which will see a new cohort of researchers leading knowledge exchange and impact projects funded by the IAA.
People will be at the heart of the ESRC IAA activities, both internally at Strathclyde, and externally in partner organisations and communities. The IAA will enable the acceleration of an inclusive environment at Strathclyde, in Scotland and beyond, where ongoing impact activities help address pressing local and global challenges. This will be done by spearheading new initiatives to meet community and business needs and to maximise the impact of UKRI and wider funded research on society and the economy.
ESRC Interim Executive Chair Professor Alison Park said: “The social, behavioural and economic research we fund helps us understand how we live and how society functions, throwing new light on how best to tackle our most pressing challenges. This investment creates a network of research organisations with dedicated funding to support and accelerate the impact of this research.
“We have already seen the benefits of previous rounds of IAA funding, which have leveraged an extra £52 million from partners ranging from local government to private business. This new cohort of 32 research organisations in receipt of IAA funding is the largest and most diverse group ESRC has funded. I look forward to seeing how these investments maximise the impact of social science research.”
UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “It’s great to see that four of Scotland’s outstanding research institutions are among organisations UK-wide benefiting from this funding.
“It’s essential that academic social and economic research is translated into real world, tangible benefits. These awards will help our universities to unlock the full impact of their research, including by working with partners to apply social sciences knowledge to address practical challenges in society.”