Ceri Jones, Director of Swansea University’s Research, Engagement and Innovation Services (REIS) talks about the University’s plans in light of BREXIT, reaching new milestones, and our commitment to our partners and stakeholders.
"As a research-led university operating within an evolving research & innovation funding landscape, it is crucial that we tighten our focus on what matters to us most: building and maintaining strong links with partners, seeking new collaborations, developing our research community through a robust research environment, and ensuring we are well equipped to capture funding from a diverse portfolio of funders.
"In view of BREXIT, and as part of Swansea University’s refreshed Research and Innovation strategy, there has been a shift in our focus from EU funding to a more diversified portfolio of funding streams from UK Government, Research Councils, and Industry & Commerce. I am pleased to report that research funding has now quadrupled over the last decade, from £18.7m in 2007 /2008 to a record high of £73.7m in 2017/2018. In reaching this new milestone, we have also reduced our reliance on EU Funding, which now makes up less than 30% of our total research funding portfolio (down from 60% in 2015/2016).
"Linked to the growth in funding awards, our research contracts and project services teams continue to support the University’s rapidly expanding portfolio of research projects, which has grown by over 50% in the last four years to a total of 1,296 projects valued at over £347 million.
"The figures are an encouraging sign that Swansea University is well positioned to strongly embrace the future. Over the course of 2019, capturing Industrial Strategy Challenge Funding will be a key priority, and will see us continuing to work closely with our research community, industry partners and UK Government connections. [G1] We will continue to liaise strongly with funding bodies including UK Research Office, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Welsh Government and UK Government in relation to informing the shape and structure of potential replacements to EU Structural Funding, with discussions currently based around a new ‘Shared Prosperity Fund’.
"ASTUTE 2020 (Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies) and SPECIFIC are just a couple of examples of some of the demand-led academic-industry collaborative projects that are delivering economic benefits to Wales.
"Hosted by Swansea University, there is a wide selection of demand-led industry-focused projects that support a range of organisations, helping to tackle societal challenges and encourage economic growth.
- Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) Wales, part of the Innovate UK family, is the world’s biggest innovation support network and can help you scale your business and expand overseas.
- The ION Leadership Programme can help develop leaders within your business, providing high-quality experiential learning and skills qualifications. Over 1,250 business owners, directors and managers of Welsh businesses have already taken part, with may reporting substantial increases in revenue as a direct result.
- The SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre is an upscale functional coatings research centre working with the steel industry and supply chain businesses to develop new technologies and storage of energy so that buildings can become power stations.
- ASTUTE 2020 provides businesses with leading Research, Development & Innovation support to develop and deliver collaborative industrially inspired projects in Computational Engineering Modelling, Advanced Materials Technology & Manufacturing Systems Engineering.
"Swansea University was founded by industry for industry almost a century ago, and benefits from thousands of partnerships and collaborations with public, private and third sector organisations across the world. A key driver in many of our collaborations is supporting regional development within South West Wales. In working together, we can support the growth and prosperity of the region, and on that premise, we launched a new engagement network, Swansea University: LINC last year. Sending out regular communications with news and funding updates and organising networking events that are open to all and free to attend, this initiative has already generated 27 firm opportunities for collaboration and the submission of multiple joint funding proposals.
"To access talented graduates & students, world-leading research & development support, first in class facilities & equipment, professional training and skills development; become a member of Swansea University: LINC today, call us on our dedicated telephone number 01792 606060, or visit our website."