Twinning programme receives boost for research and innovation projects
A scheme designed to link UK and Ukrainian universities has received a £5 million boost from Research England.
The funder donated the money to the twinning scheme set up by vice-chancellor’s body Universities UK International and the Cormack Consultancy Group, which helps UK universities partner with Ukrainian institutions to share resources and other support. So far, more than 100 partnerships have been established through the scheme.
Research England said on 28 November that the £5m would be used to fund research and innovation programmes between partner universities, support activities designed to “build capacity and resilience” in Ukrainian institutions, and help share best practice from the partnerships.
The money will also be used to carry out a “cross-sector review” of UK universities’ response to the crisis, which will identify any lessons to be learned for similar events in future.
Announcing the fund, Research England executive chair Jessica Corner said the partnerships forged through the twinning programme “are hugely important to support and build both longer-term research and innovation collaboration and capacity” in Ukraine and the UK.
“The injection of funding will be vital in enabling UK universities to increase and strengthen their commitment to supporting their Ukrainian partners, allowing them to address research and innovation challenges, while also providing new resources, which will enable the UK higher education sector to respond to future crises,” she said.
Research England said it expected the innovation projects would help to “position the UK sector as a global leader in crisis response”.
Science minister George Freeman said: “Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine has devastated much of the country. Our support for Ukraine’s research community is an important part of the UK’s ongoing efforts to use our science, technology and innovation for global good, and [to] support the Ukrainian people and their economic reconstruction.”