Latest News | 31 March 2022

Research project aims to boost productivity growth

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The University of Derby is set to embark on a new research project designed to contribute towards higher rates of investment and increased productivity growth across the UK.

The study has been granted £1.6 million in funding by the Economic and Social Research Council via UK Research and Innovation’s Strategic Priorities Fund.

It will be led by Professor Marc Cowling, head of research and innovation in the university’s College of Business, Law and Social Sciences, in collaboration with the University of Leeds, University of Warwick, University of Sussex, University of St Andrews, University of Edinburgh and University of Bath.

It is one of only seven to be awarded funding as part of a new £11 million research investment to bring researchers closer to unravelling some of the complex reasons behind the UK’s stagnant productivity.

The projects, will focus on under-researched topics in relation to improving productivity, including diversity, net zero and the green economy, financial markets, mental health, and wages.

Each will tackle specific aspects of the so-called productivity puzzle with the aim that the findings will help policymakers and businesses take the steps necessary to improve productivity and raise living standards across the UK.

Derby’s study, ‘Understanding how constraints on access to finance and under-investment impact on productivity growth in smaller firms’, will build a picture of the problems that small firms face accessing investment capital and increasing their productivity.

This will enable policy makers and businesses to design new policies to drive productivity and growth across the UK.

Professor Cowling said: “I am so pleased to be leading such a talented team of researchers across seven institutions.

“Thanks to this funding, over the next three years we hope to advance thinking and knowledge about the key linkages between finance constraints and small firm productivity in the UK.”

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