KESS II for Companies

KESS II is closely aligned to meeting the higher-level skills needs of the Welsh Government’s priority economic sectors, and will prioritise projects in these sectors:

  • ICT & Digital Economy
  • Low Carbon, Energy and Environment
  • Life sciences and Health
  • Advanced Engineering and Materials

The KESS II project is unique in Europe in the way it uses ESF support to deliver collaborative research projects and higher-level skills training in partnership with employers.


What are the benefits for companies in participating?

  • Business focused research;
  • Attract and support the development of new researchers in your company;
  • Establish ongoing links with the University; 
  • Low cost of participating;
  • Positive press, marketing and P.R. opportunities

Intellectual Property

The host University will own IP developed by projects in order to satisfy state aid requirements. However, exclusive and non-exclusive licenses are available to exploit IP at an additional cost. Partners background IP will be secured at the start of each scholarship.

Other benefits to participating

  • Feedback from previous participants show that companies really  value the link with the University and this has often led to further collaborations.
  • For business owners and managers, one of the greatest benefits is being able to focus skills towards a research area related to their business – something that is often not possible without costly additional resource.
  • The research student will spend a minimum of 1 month per year at the company partner, however, this can be subject to agreement from the company and academic supervisors.
  • The positive publicity and associations around these projects has often meant that businesses have had an excellent return on their investment long before the research results are published or their impact felt.

Research Projects:

  • Must scoped in collaboration with a company partner.
  • The company partner will contribute an annual cash contribution between £3k - £4k plus VAT (depending on company size).
  • Projects must fit within one of the Welsh Government’s priority economic sectors : Life Sciences & Health; Low Carbon, Energy & Environment ; ICT & Digital Economy; Advanced Engineering & Materials.
  • Must lead to a Masters by Research; MRes or PhD qualification.
  • Must be completed in 3.5 years for PhD and 1year 3 months for Research Masters.
ESF Logo


Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.