European Structural Funds Key to UK Research and Innovation

The Royal Society of Edinburgh, the British Academy, the Learned Society of Wales and the Royal Irish Academy have jointly published an explainer, outlining the vital role that European Structural Funds play in supporting research and innovation throughout the UK, and particularly in the devolved nations. These funds have aimed to address regional disparities, tackle inequality and improve employment opportunities.

The European Structural and Investment Funds – Contribution to UK research and innovation examines how the European Structural Funds support UK research and innovation, the impact of current European Regional Development Funding, how the funding is allocated and administered, and what the UK Government’s proposed UK Shared Prosperity Fund could look like.

Under the current 2014-2020 programmes, Scotland has benefited from over £780m of Structural Funds through the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund, with some parts of Scotland, notably the Highlands and Islands, benefiting significantly.

The explainer complements other RSE activity in this area, including two thematic roundtables we held earlier this year on Skills and Innovation to inform the Scottish Government’s planning for successor funding to replace European Structural Funds in Scotland. The report of these roundtables is available from here.