Productive Evidence Programme (PEP)

CSTI and Research England have set up the Productive Evidence Programme (PEP), initially focusing on Producing Robust Evidence for Policy: Analysing Research and Innovation Data (PREP:AReD). PREP:AReD seeks to generate a more robust and flexible evidence base that more productively uses and shares existing data held by different agencies and other organisations, to address key issues facing policymakers and practitioners around how to strengthen the knowledge linkages and impact of the public research base on industrial innovation.

Pressures grow on universities and other public sector research institutions to become more responsive to, and strategically engaged in, addressing the innovation needs of technological and sectoral innovation systems of national importance.  As they respond to these challenges, they are increasingly making investments to enable these contributions, and are making strategic choices about where to focus their efforts.  At the same time, there are growing pressures on research and innovation policymakers and funders to develop more effective policies and programmes to further strengthen these contributions to regional, technological and industrial innovation.  In return for increased public investment, universities and funders alike are under significant pressure to assess and demonstrate the value of their investments in these areas.


However, policymakers/funders and practitioners in this area often lack evidence at sufficient levels of detail to develop suitably targeted funding and support initiatives to strengthen the research and innovation-related linkages between universities and firms, and the flow of knowledge between them.  In addition empirical research has thus far struggled to reveal the distinctive contributions of different types of universities within technological, sectoral, regional or national innovation systems.  


To meet their evidence needs, funding agencies and practitioners have historically resulted to collecting additional primary data from the variety of organisations involved in the process including universities, other public and private research institutions, and firms. This, however, places significant burdens on the system, and suffers from declining participation and response rates.


The overall aim of the Producing Robust Evidence for Policy: Analysing Research and Innovation Data (PREP:AReD) initiative is to confront these challenges by examining the feasibility and utility of developing a robust and flexible evidence base that more effectively structures, analyses, and shares existing data held by research and innovation agencies to inform these types of issues.  Our ambition is to unlock the potential to address new and exciting research questions that have significant implications for policymakers and practitioners seeking to strengthen the impact of the public research base on technological and industrial innovation, while minimising the need for additional primary data collection.




More details on specific projects coming soon...



For further information about the research programme, or to engage with the research, contact Tomas Coates Ulrichsen ( 


The research programme is being developed and funded jointly between CSTI through its core grant from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and Research England.

For further information please contact:

Tomas Ulrichsen

T: +44 (0) 1223 339 741


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