Home > Publications & reports > Publications

Higher Education Innovation Funding 2011-12 to 2014-15; Policy, final allocations and request for institutional strategies

May 2011 | ref: 2011/16


Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions

Of interest to those responsible for:

Knowledge exchange; Innovation; Enterprise and entrepreneurship; Interactions between higher education and business, public and third sectors; Contract and collaborative research; Continuing professional development; Workforce development; Public engagement; Strategic planning; Economic development
This document gives Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) allocations for higher education institutions exceeding a threshold for 2011-12 to 2014-15. It invites institutions with HEIF allocations to submit institutional strategies to release their funds, and includes a template for those strategies. It also describes the policy context and method for HEIF 2011-2015 and our future approach to monitoring and review.


  • Executive summary
  • Policy context
  • Funding method
  • Allocations and guidance on strategies
  • Annexes
    • Annex A Final HEIF 2011-2015 allocations
    • Annex B1 Word template for HEIF institutional strategies
    • Annex B2 Excel template for HEIF institutional strategies
    • Annex C Guidance notes for completion of institutional strategies
    • Annex D History, progress to date and international context to HEFCE knowledge exchange policy
    • Annex E Detailed HEFCE and Government policies relevant to knowledge exchange and HEIF
    • Annex F List of abbreviations

Executive summary


1. This document presents Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) for 2011-2015 in the context of HEFCE's long-term strategic commitment to knowledge exchange and the Coalition Government's policies. It also:

  • sets out details of method and funding for HEIF in 2011-2015
  • gives final institutional allocations
  • invites HEFCE-funded higher education institutions (HEIs) with HEIF allocations to submit institutional strategies to release their funds
  • outlines our future approaches to monitoring and to review.

2. HEIF is designed to support the range of knowledge exchange activities that result in economic and social impact. The funding provides incentives for HEIs to work with businesses, public and third sector organisations, community bodies and the wider public. Activity that can help the country's economic growth is currently a high priority.

Key points

3. HEIF is supported from ring-fenced government science and research funding and from HEFCE funding, reflecting that knowledge exchange is linked with research and teaching. In 2010 the Government reviewed its policies in the context of the Spending Review and considered reform of HEIF for 2011-2015. The Government is continuing HEIF at its cash level from 2010-11 over the next four years in the expectation that the higher education sector will use funds rapidly to support the growth of the country's economy.

4. Eligible English HEIs will share funding of £150 million per academic year from August 2011 to July 2015. Funds will be allocated by formula.

5. We will implement the new policy for HEIF, including the inclusion of a threshold to allocations related to external income earnings, as proposed in 'Higher Education Innovation Funding 2011-15: consultation on a threshold allocation; and indicative institutional allocations' (HEFCE Circular letter 06/2011). HEIs that do not exceed a £250,000 allocation threshold are not eligible to receive a HEIF allocation.

6. Final institutional allocations are given in Annex A.

7. Allocations are confirmed for 2011-12. We invite HEIs to submit institutional strategies to release funding for 2012-2015 (see paragraph 9).

8. HEIs will continue to have flexibility to use their HEIF allocations for the full range of knowledge exchange activities, and to make changes to their strategies and plans over the four-year funding period in response to demands from the economy and society. We outline in this document our future approaches to monitoring and review.

Action required

9. HEIs that are eligible for funding should complete a Word template and an Excel template, which are provided at Annexes B1 and B2 respectively. Guidance notes for their completion are at Annex C. Institutional strategies should be e-mailed to heifstrategy@hefce.ac.uk by Friday 29 July 2011.

Timetable for HEIF 2011-2015 funding allocations

December 2010 'Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) 2011 to 2015 and Higher Education Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey reminder' (HEFCE EP 08/2010) was sent to heads of HEFCE-funded institutions reminding them of the submission deadline for HE-BCI data and confirmed that these data would be used in calculating HEIF for 2011-2015.
17 January 2011 Final deadline for signed-off HE-BCI data to be submitted to HESA.
February 2011 'Higher Education Innovation Fund 2011-2015: Board decisions on method and funding' (HEFCE Circular letter 04/2011) gave decisions on the method for HEIF 2011-2015.
February 2011 HEFCE Circular letter 06/2011 gave indicative allocations and consulted on a threshold allocation.
May 2011 This document provides: decisions on consultation; policy and funding guidance; final institutional allocations; and call for institutional strategies and plans for use of HEIF 2011-2015.
29 July 2011 Deadline for strategies to be submitted to HEFCE.
August 2011 onwards 2011-12 HEIF allocations begin.
Expert analysis of institutional strategies conducted. HEFCE institutional contacts will notify each HEI on a rolling basis when their strategy is approved and funding for 2012-2015 released for profiling.
September 2011 Some HEIs may be asked to clarify their strategies or to make more substantial changes in a resubmitted strategy.
End November 2011 All eligible HEIs should have received confirmation of the approval of their strategy and release of 2011-2015 funding.
Spring 2012 Overview report of strategies published with details of institutional strategies that have been commended.
Enquiries should be directed to:

Adrian Day, tel 0117 931 7428, e-mail a.day@hefce.ac.uk

Jenni Chambers, tel 0117 931 7041, e-mail j.chambers@hefce.ac.uk

Alice Frost, tel 0117 931 7101, e-mail a.frost@hefce.ac.uk

Page last updated 23 January 2012

Share this: