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The fund will support high impact research and increase commercialisation

University of Exeter receives £1.8 million funding boost

The University of Exeter has been awarded more than £1.8 million to enable researchers to unlock the potential value of their work, and kickstart new ways in which to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time.

The University received the substantial funding boost from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of its Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), which is designed to help academics speed up the impact of their research.

The funding, totalling £1,804,045, will be used to allow researchers with some of the best, brightest and most disruptive ideas to embark on new knowledge exchange projects, translate their work for real-life use, and increase commercialisation.

During the next four years the University of Exeter funding will be used to support regional, national and international projects developed through consultation with private, third and public sector organisations.

Exeter is one of 64 institutions to be given an IAA award in this funding round.

Professor Neil Gow, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Impact) at the University of Exeter said: "We welcome this significant funding from UKRI for Impact Acceleration which will allow the University to enhance our already highly successful endeavours to accelerating our impact work.

The recent REF2021 showed our research impact was internationally excellent and has grown more than any other Russell Group University, and this funding will enable more people to benefit further from our world leading research."

Previous IAA success stories from the University of Exeter include a project by Dr Sharon Dixon to create shoes that help older women stay active and keep playing sport; a dementia diagnosis software system, called DECODE, which helps to identify which patients are most likely to benefit from a full dementia assessment, improving accuracy and identification of the condition; and a research team evaluation into the benefits of Surfwell, a health intervention programme spearheaded by Devon and Cornwall police that combines surfing with a programme of peer support and group therapy.

Chris Evans, Director of Innovation, Impact and Business at the University of Exeter said: "This investment enables our researchers to work with partners from any sector, and of any size - from multinational corporations to community groups.

"As part of the overall award we have been successful in securing one of the first national schemes that supports collaboration with the cultural and creative industries sector which is brilliant recognition of our research in this area. We are looking forward to working with partners, translating our research into impacts on the economy and society."

UKRI Chief Executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said: "Research and innovation has the potential to improve people’s lives and livelihoods, rejuvenating communities across the UK and tackling global challenges. It is imperative that we harness that potential.

“The path between discovery and impact is not simple and so it is vital that we provide flexible support that allows talented people and teams, and world-class institutions to connect discovery to prosperity and public good.

“Our impact acceleration funding has a fantastic track-record in providing support that helps brilliant ideas become realities that make a real difference.”

The new Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) offers a UKRI-wide simplified model with a single application with centralised reporting and monitoring that aims to improve strategic planning.

Date: 15 June 2022