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Research initiatives

We support a number of research collaborations within Wales, and also partner the other higher education funding bodies and other organisations in several UK-wide initiatives to benefit research.

Sêr Cymru

The Sêr Cymru programme aims to build upon and enhance research in Wales in line with the objectives of Science for Wales, the Welsh Government’s strategic agenda for science and innovation. Investment focuses on three Grand Challenge areas: life sciences and health; low carbon, energy and environment; and advanced manufacturing and engineering. We work with the Welsh Government to help fund and implement the programme.

The first phase (Sêr Cymru 1) committed up to £50 million to support four Sêr Cymru Research Chairs and a National Research Network in each of the three Grand Challenge areas.

The second phase (Sêr Cymru 2) focuses on attracting researchers to Wales at the early or mid stages of their careers. It is funded from European sources, with match funding provided by the universities, Welsh Government and HEFCW. Sêr Cymru 2 will provide investment of up to £60 million over the period up to 2021.

HEFCW is contributing a total of £15 million to the Sêr Cymru programme.

Welsh Government Sêr Cymru programme

Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund that forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. It is administered by a number of delivery partners, including the Research Councils, the four national academies and the UK higher education funding bodies.

We provide funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund to eligible universities in Wales to support research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. Institutions in receipt of GCRF funding from HEFCW are required to provide three-year strategies for the use of their allocations.

UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF)

UKRPIF provides funding for capital investment in major new research facilities in universities. The funding is made available for the whole of the UK by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It is awarded through UK-wide competitions managed by Research England, working in conjunction with the other UK HE funding bodies. Bids must include co-funding from the private sector in a ratio of 2:1 to the funding sought from UKRPIF.

Wales has received funding for three programmes of investment through the UKRPIF scheme.

  • Energy Safety Research Institute, Swansea University (£11.65 million).
  • Research Foundation in Compound Semiconductor Technology, Cardiff University (£17.30 million).
  • Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials, Swansea University (£29.92million).
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