As I write this welcome message for our first newsletter of 2017, I find myself asking how we find ourselves in March already, and challenged by the task of sharing so many exciting updates within our quarterly newsletter!

Figures show that Swansea University captured £68.6m in research awards in the academic year 15/16, up from £40.7m in the previous period.  Building on a record year in recent history, the 16/17 academic year has got off to a very positive start.   

As part of the 2014-2020 European Structural Funding round, 22 projects so far have been funded to the tune of £96m.  Well on the way to matching the £119m of funding received in the 2007 – 2013 period, we look forward to bringing news of further successes as more exciting new projects progress through the pipeline.

Through these projects, Swansea University will be delivering even more tangible social and economic impact within our region; helping support people with high level training, research and innovation, business (SMEs) competitiveness, renewable energy and energy efficiency. This is something we should all take great pride in.

In recent months, REIS supported 17 successful Ser Cymru II three year fellowship applications, representing a third of the 51 fellowships that were awarded across Wales in the first round of the Welsh Government’s, part EU funded, Ser Cymru II fellowship programme. This has generated close to £2m in grant funding for the University and attracted some of the very best talent to Wales. A new 5 year Chair has also been secured. A further 16 applications have been submitted for the second round of the programme alongside the development of 8 Rising Star applications (5 year fellowships).   

In 15/16, the first round of SURGE funding provided over £220,000 to more than 100 projects.  A second round of SURGE funding for 2017, with an even broader remit, was made available earlier this year to support an increase in the volume and quantity of research bids being developed across the institution.

We were very pleased to host Swansea University’s very first Research & Innovation Awards at the Bay Campus towards the end of 2016, bringing together colleagues and external organisations to showcase a wide range of our research & innovation and the impact this is having across the world.  I was hugely impressed by the diversity and breadth of the University’s Research & Innovation capacity that was illustrated during the event.

Within the evolving world of REIS, we’ve been delighted to welcome a number of new additions to the REIS team, all of which can be found here: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/reis/who/

As a team, we continuously seek to improve our services. If you would like to provide direct feedback on the service you have received, please email me directly via reisfeedback@swansea.ac.uk

In recognition of the work going on across REIS, both centrally and within the College Hubs, we will be holding our first Team Awards event on the 16th June 2017.  Where appropriate, I would very much appreciate a few moments of your time, to nominate relevant members of the team here: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/reisawards

I very much hope you enjoy reading our newsletter which draws together a range of recent activities, and look forward to working with you over the course of this academic year.

Ceri D. Jones

Director, REIS