Impact evaluation of UKRI’s research and innovation funding response to COVID-19
Publication date: 29 September 2023 | Report language: EN
This report presents the findings of the impact evaluation of UKRI’s research and innovation funding response to COVID-19. It provides an assessment of the impacts achieved and also considers enablers and barriers to impact as well as UKRI’s own role in enabling impact. This study complements the process review of UKRI’s R&I funding response to COVID-19, also conducted by Technopolis from June to October 2021 and available on UKRI’s website.
In brief, the report finds:
- The scale of UKRI investments and its focus on multiple critical themes has underpinned wide-rangingand substantive impacts.
- UKRI’s COVID-19 response led to a high proportion of relevant outputs and outcomes, produced in a timely manner.
- The nature of the UK R&I landscape played a substantial role in enabling a robust and timely response by public science and the realisation of wide-ranging and substantive social and economic impacts.UKRI’s COVID-19 response facilitated access to funding at speed, across multiple research areas.
- The major barriers to success were challenges caused by COVID-19 itself; in addition, administrative issues created some barriers to the achievement of outcomes and impacts. These barriers were already the subject of the preceding process evaluation
The report’s headline recommendation is that the UK government must support UKRI in its longstanding commitment to invest at scale in public research and innovation as a means by which to ensure a healthy and diverse UK R&I system with the strength, breadth and connectivity to respond rapidly and effectively to any future global crises, whether that be the sudden shock of a new pandemic, a more broad-based and intractable crisis such as antimicrobial resistance or other crises (e.g. financial or environmental).