Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF)

Project information

Index: 0744R2
Priority:1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Sub Theme:Innovation, research and technology development
Location UNITED KINGDOM NORTH WEST Salford Greater Manchester Start/End date of the practice
Start: 2008-08-01
End: Ongoing

Topic of the practice

The Higher Education Innovation Fund aims to develop and release higher education (HE) knowledge for the economic and social benefit of the UK

Good Practice Information

The Higher Education Innovation Fund supports Higher Education Iinstitutions (HEIs) to build and extend their capability to engage with users of knowledge in business and the public service and third sectors, locally, nationally and internationally, according to their own diverse missions, alongside and integrated with teaching and research.

Support is available for the infrastructure for, and capacity-building-in, enterprise education and projects. Funds are allocated by formula so that HEIs may choose the most effective methods and partners for engagement, which involves the transfer of HE knowledge and expertise and leads to positive and measurable economic or social impact on the intended beneficiary.
Funding is focused on promoting activities that result in economic or social benefit to the UK, or both. While engagement with business and wealth creation are critically important, it is also acknowledged that 50% of knowledge transfer income to the sector comes from non-commercial partners such as public sector bodies and third sector partners. Through these kinds of interactions the HE sector makes a contribution to the delivery of public policy and quality of life of the nation that is equally important as its contributions towards commercial wealth creation.

Evidence of success

Outputs are wide ranging and can be specified by the HEIs so data comparison is not made specifically. The outputs are included in HEFCE’s (Higher Education Funding Council for England) annual Business and Community Interaction Survey. The results from this survey and evidence from the ‘Evaluation of the effectiveness and role of HEFCE third stream funding’ report (April 2009, University of Cambridge) demonstrates the success of HEIF. This includes economic benefits accrued through HEIF, by enabling HEIs to support the transfer and exchange of knowledge between HEIs, business and the wider community. Through HEIF, many synergies between knowledge exchange, teaching and research have been realised and there is greater recognition of the value and benefits of working together on a diverse range of problems and initiatives.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

Professor Carl Abbott

University of Salford



Annex completed on: 08-31-2011

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