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Partnership drives innovation in Cardiff Capital Region

8 February 2022

A partnership between Cardiff University and the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) has been given further funding to boost growth, innovation and resilience.

The project, which is developing and delivering a local wealth building Challenge Fund, is one of 11 across the UK to receive money from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) under a new pilot Local Acceleration Fund (LAF).

Totalling nearly £1m, the LAF awards help researchers work in partnership locally across the UK.

Cardiff University has received £50,000 to extend the work of its existing partnership with the CCR.

CCR are collaborating with the University’s Centre for Innovation Policy Research (CIPR) and Y Lab to develop and deliver a £10m Challenge Fund programme.

This latest award will allow the project to employ a staff member on a six-month basis to act as a broker, finding researchers and business partners who can address the needs of the public sector challenge holders that approach CCR for support.

Seed funding will also be offered for short placements to researchers within the region to encourage the formation of cross-institutional collaborative teams from Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan, and the University of South Wales.

Professor Claire Gorrara, Dean for Research and Innovation for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding, extending our work on challenge-orientated innovation with the Cardiff Capital Region. This will support projects tackling some of the most urgent societal problems in our region. It will fund the cross-sectoral brokerage and partnerships vital to the development of novel solutions to challenges identified by public sector bodies.”

Steven Hazleton, Communications and Marketing Lead for the CCR said: “We are pleased to receive this funding to further the progress made in delivering innovative solutions to key societal challenges identified within public bodies. This funding will aid future collaboration between public body challenge holders and will support and encourage the growth of innovation within the Cardiff Capital Region.”

Professor Alison Park, Interim Executive Chair of ESRC said: “We are delighted to announce funding for 11 pilot projects, which will demonstrate the breadth and relevance of social science research to the UK’s place-based challenges. These projects demonstrate the critical role that collaboration and co-creation play in bringing together complex local challenges with social science expertise in order to make a difference in local communities.”

Y Lab and CIPR will become part of Cardiff University’s sbarc|sparc hub next month – a specialist community that brings social science researchers alongside public, private and third sector partners to create, test and incubate fresh ideas that can help to build a better society.

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