UKRI is investing £7 million to establish The Innovation & Research Caucus (IRC) as a world leading centre of excellence in research and innovation funding.

The IRC will be led by Professor Tim Vorley at Oxford Brookes University and Professor Stephen Roper, Director of the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) at the University of Warwick, both of whom have a long and successful track record of delivering high quality research and advice for UKRI.

Over the next 3 years the IRC will increase the use of robust evidence and insights in UKRI’s strategies and investments.

This will support UKRI’s significant contribution to realising the goals of the Science and Technology Framework, and ultimately help deliver greater societal and economic benefits from research and innovation.

UKRI Chief Executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said:

“UKRI needs access to a robust and actionable evidence base. It also needs to bring together people with different skillsets and experience, who can work with UKRI to understand and implement the changes needed to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system which delivers for citizens across the UK.

“The Innovation and Research Caucus will have a vital role to play in providing powerful insights into what works, where and why. I look forward to working with the Caucus to create and use those insights to optimise the support we provide to the UK’s outstanding research and innovation system.”

The IRC is funded by UKRI via the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Innovate UK. It builds on the success of Innovation Caucus, funded by the ESRC and Innovate UK and led by Professor Tim Vorley from 2007 until June 2023.

Stephen Roper will continue in his role as Director of the ERC, and the ERC research team are looking forward to working closely with the IRC.

The work undertaken by the IRC will be wide ranging and include:

  • carrying out research projects commissioned by UKRI to provide the evidence needed to inform its decision-making and investment design
  • capability building to increase communication between academics and policymakers
  • working with researchers at a range of career stages to ensure a pipeline of expertise in research and innovation funding
  • identifying areas to research and what interventions might be needed to improve support for the R&I sector