Scottish water partnership secures £5m funding from UK Research and Innovation

University of Stirling

A SCOTTISH project designed to make the most of an abundant natural resource – water – has been awarded nearly £5 million in new funding.

The Stirling Local Policy Innovation Partnership will work on maximizing the benefits of water resources in the Forth Water Basin in Scotland.

The partnership will benefit:

  • the economy, including how to make the most of local water resources, in the pursuit of sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
  • community, including how to raise stakeholder capacity to enable and connect new opportunities from partnership, including community resilience and empowerment.
  • the environment, including how to build productive and harmonious relationships between human and natural systems.

Professor Richard Simmons of the University of Stirling’s Faculty of Social Sciences, who is leading the project, said:

“This is the most extensive study of its kind and we are proud to work with so many important stakeholders. It combines the world-class strengths of the region’s social and natural scientists in research that will highlight solutions to improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of local communities, whilst also providing a beacon of innovation for similar water systems and communities across the globe.”

“This is very much a multi-disciplinary study, encompassing business, society and the environment, and how our region’s water resources can be optimised for the things that matter most to us all.”

Part of UKRI’s work to create opportunities and improve outcomes across the UK, the four Local Policy Innovation Partnerships (LPIPs) will bring together devolved governments, local authorities, businesses and communities to harness the power of research and innovation in addressing local challenges. The partnerships will drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth and reduce regional disparities in the UK.

Professor Alison Park, Head of UKRI’s creating opportunities, improving outcomes theme, said:

“Local Policy Innovation Partnerships demonstrate UKRI’s commitment to bringing together a diverse range of partners, from local and devolved government, communities and businesses. Through these long-term collaborations, we will accelerate the use of research and innovation to reduce regional inequalities and drive sustainable, inclusive growth.”

The other partnerships are:

  • A Welsh project, which will develop an inclusive, sustainable, rural economy by giving local government, business and communities the evidence they need to make decisions that  build prosperity and reduce inequality.
  • A Northern Irish project that will focus primarily on boosting skills to tackle unemployment and improve economic growth; and
  • A Yorkshire project that will support inclusive and sustainable growth of jobs, businesses, culture and tourism with a focus on low-income, marginalised and isolated communities

The four projects are supported by a Birmingham-based LPIPs hub, which will gather and share data, evidence, learning and best practice with the UK government, local authorities and researchers who are focusing on regional inequality.

The LPIPs programme is funded by UKRI through the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Innovate UK.

It used an innovative two-phase competitive process. In phase one of the programme 10 LPIPs each received up to £50,000 of seed corn funding to build local partnerships and work with communities and other agencies to develop strong, evidence-based proposals for phase two.

The latest stories