Engines of growth: The impact of research at Russell Group universities

24 November 2015

This report and film highlight how research at Russell Group universities is generating billions of pounds in returns to the UK economy and delivering a wide range of economic benefits – from the creation of new businesses and jobs to efficiency savings for public services and private sector productivity gains.

We have identified at least £21 billion worth of economic benefits resulting from a sample of research projects at our universities – a return of £100 for every £1 of initial investment.

However, the research undertaken at our universities not only benefits the economy but also has an impressive impact on the health and quality of life of the nation, stimulates public engagement, influences policy, and contributes to our rich cultural life and heritage. And those research impacts can inturn generate even wider benefits that continue to deliver for years or even decades.

To illustrate this, we have picked out a small number of examples from the impact case studies submitted to the Research Excellence Framework assessment that was conducted with universities in the UK in 2014.

These case studies tell a story of ground-breaking new therapies, transformative new technologies being developed with business and changes to policy and practice that have had a positive impact on
millions of people in this country and around the world.

Our analysis shows how investing in excellent basic research is an indispensable component of the UK’s economic competitiveness, and the key to its future growth.

Engines of growth: The impact of research at Russell Group universities

Our latest report in a series on research impact looks at how research from Russell Group universities drives our economy, changes our society, improves our health, enhances our culture and protects the environment.

Download (PDF, 2.75MB)

This is the third part in a series on the impact of research from Russell Group universities. You can also read The economic impact of research conducted in Russell Group universities (2010) and The social impact of research conducted in Russell Group universities (2012).

Related case studies