Future international partnerships: putting the UK at the heart of global research and innovation collaboration

This paper proposes a wide-ranging set of policy recommendations to enable UK universities to grow and diversify their international research and innovation collaborations

With contributions from stakeholders across 36 UK institutions, it sets out a clear plan for how the UK can expand and capitalise on researchers’ international links to attract talent and business investment from overseas.  

The recommendations, which are addressed to government, funding bodies and institutions themselves, cover three main areas: 

  • Advice on how to position the UK at the heart of global collaboration in research and innovation, including attracting and retaining international talent  
  • How best to capture new international business investment in university research and innovation to support levelling up 
  • Strengthening existing and seeding new university partnerships with institutionacross the globe 

The paper can be viewed and downloaded here.

Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International: UK universities have a vital role to play in achieving the government’s goal to make the UK a science superpower by ensuring that UK researchers can work with the best minds from across the world, and attracting talent and investment from overseas 

Professor Dame  Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool: ‘At a time when the manifold benefits of international collaboration in scientific research are being daily demonstrated in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we should seize the opportunity to establish system to system funding with a range of developed research economies and work to remove barriers to collaboration at all levels of academic endeavour. 

Professor Paul Boyle, Vice-Chancellor, Swansea University: ‘International collaboration is the foundation of UK science and innovation. It brings novel ideas, complementary skills and knowledge, and gives rise to breakthroughs that would not be possible otherwise. Greater collaboration leads to greater UK influence in the world’  

Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hertfordshire Each part of the country has different needs and challenges. Universities are uniquely placed to work with industry to reshape local economies and develop regional investment hubs. They can widen and deepen innovation activity through direct improvements in skills, technology diffusion and research’’  



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