Press release

million+ calls for Chancellor to invest in research to support regional growth

30 Jun 2015

Professor Michael Gunn, Chair of the university think-tank million+ and Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University, has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, to include a new fund for translational research in his 8 July Summer Budget as part of a plan to improve productivity and address imbalances in regional growth.

Professor Gunn said:

“George Osborne has acknowledged that the UK has a poorer record in innovation than many of our competitor countries and his interest in addressing imbalances in regional growth and improving productivity are well-known.

“We would urge the Chancellor to establish a new fund for translational research geared at universities which have excellent research and strong records of liaising with small and medium sized businesses but which receive less than £5m in research funding each year from the funding councils.

“Over 70 universities in England fall into this category and they have important links with small and medium sized businesses active in supply chains, the creative industries and in public service delivery.

“Translational research funding would enable these universities to invest in research capacity and the liaison which these smaller companies need but which they often cannot afford in order to innovate and improve products.

“A new fund would also have positive spill-over effects and encourage these businesses to engage with universities to help upskill employees already in the workforce.”


Notes to Editors

1. For further information or to arrange an interview, contact million+ on 0207 717 1659 or 

2. million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information can be found at

3. In advance of the 8 July budget, million+ has submitted proposals to the Treasury which support increased investment in science and research and the setting up of a new stream of funding for translational research worth £100m per annum – 3% of the total research budget. The new fund would be subject to value for money measures and be recurring for 4 years in the first instance.