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£4m to transform Bristol’s bright ideas into global opportunities and impact

Bristol will receive £4.27 million over three years to maximise impact and translation of its cutting-edge research.

Press release issued: 16 June 2022

The University of Bristol will receive significant funding to maximise the impact and translation of cutting-edge research which promises to have far-reaching benefits for society.

The UKRI has awarded a total of £118 million to research organisations across the UK through its Impact Accelerator Account (IAA) to support critical, early-stage translation and impact of UK research.

Bristol will receive £4.27 million over three years for new projects, bringing researchers together with organisations including businesses, public sector bodies, policymakers and NGOs. An important feature of the scheme is that it empowers research organisations to use the funding creatively and responsively to react to emerging opportunities.

The funding will support pilot and proof-of-concept projects and allow the University to provide a pipeline of new technologies, disruptive ideas and creative content that are ripe for development and scale-up. By providing the catalyst that allows projects to grow to the next level, the funding promises to maximise the benefits the University’s world-leading research brings to society and the economy.

Previous Bristol-led IAA success stories include the leading haptics and hand-tracking firm Ultraleap, renal gene therapy company, Purespring Therapeutics, and IRISi, an award-winning social enterprise which is improving the healthcare response to gender-based violence.

Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Bristol, Professor Phil Taylor, said: “This funding will make a profound contribution to the University’s mission is to make a positive impact locally, nationally, and globally by addressing society’s greatest challenges through our innovative research and the value we place on excellence, inclusivity and partnership.”

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.”

Further information

Collaboration with partners:

Challenge-led events run via the EPSRC IAA have attracted over 50 companies, ranging from large multinationals to local SMEs, to meet researchers and collaborate on some of the most challenging issues, including cyber security, digital environment and our experiences of robotics in everyday life.

Through ESRC IAA funding the Bristol City Fellows scheme embedded marginalised voices from local community organisations into the decision-making in Bristol’s ‘One City Plan’.

Early Career Researcher initiatives

The University supports those new to the IAA through dedicated awards, events, training and mentoring programmes to develop their impact plans and partnerships. The Training Researchers in Entrepreneuship and Engagement (TREE) programme aims to create a self-renewing community of researchers to develop the entrepreneurial know-how needed to take their technology to market. TREE builds upon a strong foundation developed by the SETsquared partnership, our Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre, local incubator Science Creates and our Commercialisation team. Five strands of activity are taking place this year ranging from networking events, ideas labs and courses.


IAA funding has supported PolicyBristol to work with researchers and ensure policy is underpinned by research evidence. Question Time events have brought together Members of Parliament, the Welsh government, local government stakeholders and Health Administrators to network and identify shared challenges, positioning University of Bristol researchers as regional leaders in policy engagement.

Organisations of all sizes are encouraged to approach the University's Partnerships Team with ideas which might benefit from academic input and expertise.

About UK Research and Innovation   

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the largest public funder of research and innovation in the UK, with a budget of around £8bn. It is composed of seven disciplinary research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.   

We operate across the whole country and work with our many partners in higher education, research organisations businesses, government, and charities.   

Our vision is for an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and internationally.    

Our mission is to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with others to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system that connects discovery to prosperity and public good. 

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