Editorial

Wide-ranging review of government funded Welsh research and innovation begins

Project will look at how connections and interactions between industry and public sector can be improved to enable Wales to become “a more entrepreneurial state”

Posted 6 April 2017 by

A wide-ranging review of government-funded research and innovation in Wales has begun to look at the “strengths, gaps and future potential” in Welsh institutions to sustain and grow strong research and innovation activity in the Principality.

“Our aim is to make sure that every penny we invest in this area delivers the maximum benefit to the people and economy of Wales,” commented Cardiff’s Education Secretary Kirsty Williams, who has commissioned Graeme Reid, Professor of Science and Research Policy at University College London, to lead the review.

Reid and his team have been briefed to:

  • Identify patterns and themes in the development of business and public services in Wales that draw on research and innovation strengths in Wales and further afield, with a brief to report back next winter
  • Collate the results of recent analyses of research and innovation activity in Wales
  • Consider how firms, public services and research groups in universities connect locally and globally to support the needs of Welsh communities, business and the economy, plus consider how the connections and interactions between these groups can be improved to enable Wales to become “a more entrepreneurial state”.
“Thriving research and innovation are key to the future economy and society of Wales,” said Reid.
“Brexit, the Industrial Strategy and UK legislation on Higher Education & Research [UKRI] will bring significant changes to the environment for government-funded research and innovation in Wales.
“This review will explore how the government, universities and business in Wales can influence and respond to these changes, both creating opportunities and mitigating threats,” he promised.
The team says it will aim to report early in 2018, before UKRI is created formally and while Brexit negotiations are still underway.
“The aim of this review is to look at all the investment the Welsh Government makes into research and innovation and how it is making a difference and what we can do to change things for the future as this area is vital to Wales’ prosperity,” added Minister for Skills and Science at the Assembly, Julie James.