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LSSI supported development and design of successful UKRI funded Yorkshire Policy Innovation Partnership (YPIP)


Supporting meaningful collaboration is a huge part of what we do at Leeds Social Sciences Institute

A regional research partnership will provide evidence for vital decision-making in the Yorkshire and Humber region to deliver on climate change, inequalities and data gaps.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced a £5m grant for the Yorkshire Policy Innovation Partnership (YPIP), a research project led by the University of Leeds that will coordinate initiatives, evidence and learnings to help reduce inequalities and address climate change in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Working with 12 Yorkshire Universities and all Yorkshire and Humber Councils, YPIP is rooted in a commitment to empowering communities, by researching ‘with’ rather than ‘on’ people.

We are creating a research ecosystem that brings the expertise and insights of communities, civic bodies and businesses together with the research excellence of the Universities of Yorkshire.

Professor Gary Dymski, Leeds University Business School

At its heart will be the YPIP community panel – comprised of 12 members with diverse experiences of disadvantage, marginalisation or isolation – who will become equal decision-makers with key policymakers and researchers in the region.

YPIP’s key aims to address these problems include:

  • Data analytics: Build the Yorkshire Engagement Portal - a data hub for the region to provide up-to-date, legitimate evidence about the region’s economic, social and environmental status.
  • Inclusive growth: Using inclusive business practices to increase entrepreneurial opportunities in the region, with a special focus on creating an Inclusive Business Network and improving creative opportunities for young people in Bradford.
  • Sustainable living: Address key regional challenges in the move to net zero carbon, including retrofit guidance for the region’s high proportion of older buildings and close collaboration with the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission.

YPIP began with a first phase of community consultation, and thanks to collaborative efforts with the Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI) in the funding bid, was the only English partnership to win funding from UKRI for a second phase.

Alison Lundbeck, LSSI Research and Innovation Development Manager, worked with the team throughout the phase 1 and phase 2 bidding process, said:

“It was a pleasure working with stakeholders across the region to understand their priorities and needs, making it possible to shape a Local Policy Innovation Partnership which will make a real difference to the social, economic and environmental issues as experienced by our communities. It’s crucial to ensure our social scientists work closely with people with lived experience, policymakers, businesses and the third sector if we are to be able to effectively address complex issues such as social and economic exclusion and climate change.  Supporting meaningful collaboration is a huge part of what we do at LSSI”.

Local Policy Innovation Partnerships

The grant is part of a wider initiative of Local Policy Innovation Partnerships (LPIPs), with three further LPIPs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Part of UKRI’s work to create opportunities and improve outcomes across the UK, LPIPs will bring together devolved governments, local authorities, businesses and communities to harness the power of research and innovation in addressing local challenges.

Professor Gary Dymski from Leeds University Business School is leading the project with co-director Kersten England CBE, who is heading up Bradford City of Culture 2025 after stepping down as chief executive of Bradford Council last year.

Professor Dymski said: “YPIP will use innovative approaches to empower low-income, marginalised and isolated communities confronting the challenges posed by climate change, widening inequality and left-behind places in Yorkshire and the Humber. It will connect the expertise of the region’s 12 universities with the efforts of its residents, councils, and businesses to create a more inclusive and sustainable society.

“It will extend the reach and impact of the collaborative regional infrastructure put in place by Yorkshire Universities, the Yorkshire and Humber Policy Engagement Research Network (Y-PERN), the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, and the Yorkshire and Humber Applied Research Collaborative, along with these initiatives’ many partners.”

Kersten England CBE, Co-Director of the Yorkshire LPIP bid, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our bid has been successful. It’s ambitious, innovative and radical. We are creating a research ecosystem that brings the expertise and insights of communities, civic bodies and businesses together with the research excellence of the Universities of Yorkshire.

“Together we will tackle some of the most pressing issues we face not only as a region but as a nation – the creation of inclusive growth, delivery of a just transition to net zero and the role of confident resilient communities at the heart of these agendas.”

Addressing regional challenges

Professor Alison Park, Head of UKRI’s creating opportunities, improving outcomes theme, said: “Local Policy Innovation Partnerships demonstrate UKRI’s commitment to bringing together a diverse range of partners, from local and devolved government, communities and businesses. Through these long-term collaborations, we will accelerate the use of research and innovation to reduce regional inequalities and drive sustainable, inclusive growth.”

Professor Karen Bryan OBE, Chair of Yorkshire Universities, said: “This is a brilliant example of Yorkshire Universities’ core mission to promote and use research and evidence that relates directly to the issues that matter to communities, businesses and policymakers in the region.”

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