The social sciences have a great deal to offer businesses – from understanding the potential for new goods, services and business models to improving relationships with providers, customers and employees.

We only support research activity that meets our excellence criterion, is developed to ensure the highest chances of making impact, and is provided for independent investigation.

Research we support

  • 24 research organisations hold Impact Acceleration Accounts enabling them to be more responsive to collaboration opportunities.
  • We support Knowledge Transfer Partnerships to develop relationships between academia and business through collaborative projects that address business needs.
  • Our Business and Local Government Data Research Centres make data routinely collected by businesses accessible to research for the mutual benefit of business data owners and researchers, in a way that safeguards individuals’ identities.
  • Our research priority area on productivity aims to answer outstanding questions that government and businesses have on how to solve the UK’s productivity puzzle.
  • Our Innovation Caucus is a network of 66 academics engaged in innovation research. It promotes greater collaboration between social science and businesses. The caucus has created an How Ready Are You For Business Model Innovation? online tool to assess a company’s readiness for business model innovation.
  • Under the National Productivity Investment Fund we are supporting early career researchers to engage with businesses. These projects are examples of the range of benefits that collaboration with the social sciences can bring to business. 
  • Our list of collaboration opportunities shows the range of ways that social science insights can help the public, private and third sectors.

Additional resources

  • To find out about the difference our research has made to businesses see our economy and business content for news, evidence briefings and case studies.
  • konfer created  by the National Centre for Universities and Business in partnership with UKRI is an online tool that helps businesses find opportunities for collaboration including research, researchers, facilities, equipment, funding and support.

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) aims to bring together the UK’s world-leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time.

The contribution that social science can make to the ISCF include, but are not limited to, understanding consumer behaviour and public attitudes, identifying opportunities for new goods, services and business models, improving supply chain relationships, maximising the value of consumer, health and other data, exploring regulation, and understanding sector workforces and capacity for transformation. 

For further information about ISCF, see: