This month ended on a high with the fantastic announcement from UKRI of their Strength in Places funding. Our region has benefited from two projects, MyWorld and CSConnected, which aim to supercharge our regional strengths and research excellence to become global powerhouses in both digital media and compound semiconductor industries. While we welcome the government’s place-based approach to research and innovation funding and support their levelling-up agenda, we would encourage further emphasis on placed-based initiatives. UKRI’s Strength in Places Fund is the only national programme that takes a place-based approach to research and innovation funding to support significant local economic growth. We look forward to capitalising on further opportunities in the future to ensure South Wales and South West England remain global leaders in research and innovation.
I am pleased to announce our successful Generator Award research communities. As always, the standard was incredibly high and it was great to see applications from new communities harnessing research strengths across the institutions and existing communities keen to scale up their research endeavours. In response to the coronavirus pandemic and mindful of our carbon footprint, we are leading the way in digital delivery. I am excited to see our communities’ innovative online content and look forward to sharing their successes and outputs with you in the future.
We continue to support our next generation of research leaders across the alliance. We are hosting a PGR webinar next month, helping our PGRs to navigate their career in these uncertain times. Plus, we are currently supporting our successful PGR and ECR teams to deliver flagship symposia focusing on our priority research areas of Climate and Antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Finally, universities received some positive news with the government announcing a package of support for research. University research is already at the forefront in the fight against coronavirus, and universities are vital to the country’s economic recovery and supporting regional communities. However, this sector has suffered more than most in this crisis and we know along with financial support, collaboration will play a crucial role in helping universities to recover. Collaboration is at the heart of our GW4 Alliance and we will continue to bolster the case for universities; advancing our collaborative research and innovation, and delivering initiatives at scale to drive economic and social recovery.