EPSRC Place Based Impact Acceleration Account

Closing Date: 25/04/2023

Consortia funding to support a programme of impact activities within a research and innovation cluster.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has launched this Place Based Impact Acceleration Account (PBIAA) opportunity to support a programme of impact activities within a research and innovation cluster.

Institutional Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAA) are strategic awards that provide flexible funding to research organisations enabling them to drive impacts from their research portfolio through a wide range of activities. PBIAAs offer a new complementary funding approach intended to enhance the capabilities of clusters and drive regional growth. Key features of PBIAAs are as follows:

  • A focus on developing place-based impact (meaning a more concentrated delivery of impact that drives benefits within a research and innovation cluster).
  • Delivery through a consortium approach that encourages collaboration on impact between UK universities, and with civic bodies and businesses.
  • Broadening access to impact funding for eligible research organisations, enabling all those with a relevant research portfolio to contribute.

PBIAAs will enable impact from the engineering and physical sciences research of several universities to be realised within a defined research and innovation cluster, in collaboration with civic bodies and businesses operating within that cluster.

PBIAAs must be co-created with civic actors and aligned with civic ambitions. The programme of impact activities should therefore be tailored to the needs of the place. PBIAAs and their activities should be at least 50% within the EPSRC’s remit but activities delivered need not link to prior EPSRC funding.

PBIAAs can support similar activities to institutional IAAs but all activities must deliver impact within the cluster. PBIAA activities could include:

  • Strengthening engagement with local users and their networks or supply chains to accelerate the translation of research outputs into place-based impacts.
  • Building and maintaining a local environment and culture that enables effective and ambitious knowledge exchange and impact, including development of skills, capacity and capability within the consortium and for the identified cluster.
  • Supporting, developing and fostering strategic partnerships as part of place-based knowledge exchange and impact activity, including across disciplines and sectors.
  • Providing early-stage support for progressing research outputs towards the next stages in the impact pipeline, for example:
    • Proof of concept projects
    • Commercialisation
    • Market validation
    • Activities targeting policy, business and the third sector
  • Driving continuous improvement in impact by supporting innovation, enabling ‘fast failure’, and capturing learning through appropriate mechanisms.
  • Enabling flexible and adaptive approaches to knowledge exchange and impact, including the ability to respond quickly to emerging opportunities.
  • Dedicated resource to support the engagement of, and impact activities involving institutions and their researchers from outside of the consortia.
  • Public engagement.

Funding will be provided under two streams:

  • Stream 1 (for emerging or nascent clusters): estimate three to five awards with maximum £2.5 million per award, over four years.
  • Stream 2 (for established or mature clusters): estimate three to five awards with maximum £5 million per award, over four years.

This is the first of two expected PBIAA funding rounds. The second opportunity is anticipated to be of similar scale and is expected to launch in government financial year 2023 to 2024.

Funding body Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Maximum value £5,000,000
Reference ID S24344
Category Engineering and Physical Sciences
Fund or call Fund