About the EPSRC Prosperity Partnership scheme

EPSRC has a strong track record of working closely with universities and business to develop high-quality funding programmes which deliver world-leading academic research whilst also delivering impact to business and the wider economy, through a variety of different routes. EPSRC recognises that businesses are increasingly developing strategic partnerships with key universities where they have shared research challenges and complementary capabilities.

This call is aimed at co-investing in such partnerships, capitalising on the existing relationships to drive forward excellent research with impact which addresses areas of national (and international) importance. Prosperity Partnerships form one approach within EPSRC’s suite of activities to link business investment with EPSRC portfolio and provides an exciting opportunity for businesses and universities to co-invest alongside EPSRC. 

EPSRC wishes to support existing, strategic, research-based partnerships between business and universities by providing an opportunity for co-investment in large-scale, long term, user-inspired basic research programmes at TRL 1-3. These must address EPSRC’s Prosperity Outcomes Framework. The strategies of the universities and businesses involved should also be addressed. All Prosperity Partnerships must be able to generate value in some form for the UK, for instance we anticipate that businesses will have an active research base and R&D presence in the UK. 

Consortia may be formed of multiple businesses and universities, but an existing, demonstrable strategic relationship must be in place between the lead business and lead university partner. EPSRC would also encourage the involvement of SMEs and supply chain companies, where appropriate to the Prosperity Partnership application; as either Project Partners on the application, or as the lead business partner. 

Co-creation of the research programme is essential and EPSRC expects programmes funded through this call to drive forward shared research challenges, demonstrate impact beyond the partners in addition to benefits to the business (es) involved and contribute positively to the overall strategic partnership framework which exists between the parties. It should be clear that the business and academic researchers are making a distinct intellectual contribution to the partnership. 

As a co-investment opportunity, this call requires the business and university partners to commit substantial cash contributions to the programme, by matching the financial investment made in each award by EPSRC. 

The call process is in three stages, with an initial expression of interest stage led by the main business partner. EOIs have been shortlisted by EPSRC. Consortia which are successful at the EOI stage have been invited to submit full proposals, which are assessed by postal peer review and a prioritisation panel, followed by an invitation to an interview panel.