HEIF was a partnership between the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Office of Science and Innovation (OSI) and the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).

The Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) supported institutions to engage in a broad range of knowledge transfer activities with business, public sector and community partners, for direct or indirect economic benefit.

Unlike previous bids, HEIF 3 involved the use of a formulaic method to calculate the distribution of funding; in the past this was completed via a competitive process. Via this method, Lancaster University was awarded total institutional funding of £1.8M. The Project ran from August 2006 until July 2008 and allowed LPDU to support businesses that were non-SME in England’s NW or SMEs that were in otherwise ineligible-funded areas.

LPDU delivered HEIF 3 alongside and in synergy with the suite of ERDF activity that the Unit was engaged in. This helped to compliment the activity and build meaningful relationships with organisations that provided knowledge transfer: outwards into industry and inwards to the University.

Unlike other Projects, there were no financial subsidies available to companies through HEIF3. The activity of work was tailored to the needs of those involved and driven by the design requirements/challenges of a particular product. This often involved the use of CAD, virtual prototyping and finite element analysis (FEA) to overcome design problems.