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Welcome to the Innovation and Research Caucus

August 1, 2023

Published by

Dr Sammy Field

The landscape of research and innovation is evolving at an unprecedented pace, shaping economies and societies in profound ways. Yet, while an expanding community of social science researchers delves into the intricacies of research and innovation systems both in the UK and around the world, there remains a gap between this wealth of knowledge and its application in policy and practice. This divide not only challenges the potential impact of such research but also leaves the evidence needs of policymakers and funders largely unmet.

In a bold move to bridge this gap, the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced a transformative investment of £7 million into the creation of the Innovation and Research Caucus (IRC). Positioned as a world-leading center of excellence, the IRC aims to not only increase the application of robust evidence and insights in UKRI’s strategies and investments but also to foster a dynamic interplay between researchers, policymakers, and funders.

At the helm of this initiative are two distinguished Co-Directors, Professors Tim Vorley and Stephen Roper, hailing from Oxford Brookes University and the University of Warwick respectively. Alongside them, Co-Investigators from the universities of Birkbeck, Cambridge, and Manchester will collaborate to catalyze a transformative change in how research and innovation systems are understood and engaged with.

Over the course of the next three years, the IRC will spearhead a co-produced program of research that not only enhances the utilization of evidence in UKRI’s strategies and investments but also contributes to a much-needed dialogue among key stakeholders. This effort to weave together insights from researchers, policymakers, and funders reflects the IRC’s fundamental goal of strengthening the very fabric of research and innovation systems.

The initial priorities and projects of the IRC encompass a wide array of topics, ranging from exploring the UK’s innovation infrastructure and the future of doctoral training to developing an innovation skills framework and understanding the characteristics of UKRI applicants. The IRC also plans to delve into the dynamics of co-creation in tackling grand challenges and investigating research and innovation outcomes related to leveling up.

You can gain further insight into the IRC’s endeavors by exploring the about us page or express your interest in becoming a member by reaching out to Dr. Sammy Field, the IRC’s Project Manager, at

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