Place-Based Investments in Health-Related R&D and Innovation

This project looks at how place-based health related investments can stimulate regional growth and reduce inequalities. 

Within an economic development context, investment in Research Development & Innovation is typically focused on increasing business propensity to innovate and invest in R&D.

By addressing the market failures which prevent businesses from engaging with HEIs and investing in innovation-led growth, the public sector is able to increase and accelerate new product and process development, drive the commercialisation of research, and deliver wider societal benefits from this through technology adoption.

Universities are uniquely placed to play both a convening and independent role in bringing the right actors together to effect change and are also best placed to support a systems-level approach as opposed to specific technology approach. The long term and wider societal impacts of innovation are however difficult to capture quantitatively.

To build the case this might include evidence that there is a track record of translation, and/or a mature ecosystem supporting translation; and universities have strong collaborative relationships with the range of partners (e.g. commercial, NHS, patient groups, investors) needed to support all stages in the commercialisation and adoption of technologies by health care commissioners. This can include:

  • Having a role in translating innovations from elsewhere more effectively
  • Providing evidence that there is clinical demand by working with NHS clinicians and patient groups
  • Generating evidence for regulators on effectiveness (e.g. therapeutic, clinical, system innovation and behavioural changes) and safety;
  • Access to dedicated workspaces, facilities and finance to develop and scale up production
  • Access to commercial partners and peer networks


The Evaluation Lab

Research England Quality Research Fund


The rationale for the study is to improve the case for investing in health and life science innovation. Research, development and innovation undertaken and supported by university is funded by several sources on a competitive basis including Research England, Innovate UK, UKRI, heath research charities, regional development funding, national strategic funding and private sector investment.  There is need to better articulate and flesh out the case with examples, for investing growth funding in HEIs activities and infrastructure in R&D&I generating place-based impacts and supports the government’s Levelling up agenda.

The project will scope and pilot an impact assessment of public sector R&D investment using specific cases which enable more effective comparison between lower-cost community-directed public health interventions and higher-cost medicines and medical technologies.

Research Team

The project team pulls together expertise from City REDI based in Birmingham Business School, College of Medicine and Dentistry and Metro-Dynamics. Team members include:

Contact Details

Project lead contact details: 


Project Support contact details: 


WMREDI is funded by Research England and the WMREDI partnership

Return to the WMREDI Homepage Return to the Evaluation Lab