Nurse Review: University alliances critical to UK research and development ambitions

February 28, 2022

A GW4 submission to the Nurse Review has emphasised how university alliances are a critical and increasing part of the research, development and innovation landscape (RDI).

Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Paul Nurse, who is Chancellor of the University of Bristol, is leading an independent review for the UK Government into the existing RDI ecosystem, how it compares to international competitors, and how it can be improved and futureproofed.

It is being carried out in response to the UK Government’s commitment to secure and advance the country’s status as a global science superpower, and leader in new fields of research and cutting-edge technologies.

As part of the review, public, private and third sector organisations were invited to submit their views. In a written submission, GW4 highlighted that university alliances:

– can identify areas of complementary expertise across institutions, driving collaborative research, development and innovation which address major societal and global challenges

– directly support UK Government strategies – such as the Innovation Strategy, the Life Sciences Vision, and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) R&D People and Culture Strategy – through research expertise and investments

– work closely with strategic partners, business, and powerhouses such as the Western Gateway to build regional ecosystems and drive inward regional investment

– build a highly skilled workforce through doctoral and early career researcher training programmes and support for technical careers

– support new collaborations and RDI consortia to come together and build relationships with external partners to establish new communities which can apply for funding

– enable access to cutting-edge equipment and infrastructure.

Dr Joanna Jenkinson MBE, GW4 Alliance Director, said: “As a consortium bringing together four of the most research-intensive universities in the UK – Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter – we have the critical expertise, skills and infrastructure required to drive forward research and innovation at pace and scale.

“The Nurse Review is a timely opportunity to recognise the value of our collaborative endeavours, and how we are a significant driver for change, of both economic impact and the research, development and innovation landscape.”

The review was commissioned in the UK Innovation Strategy published in July 2021.

Read the GW4 Alliance’s full submission to the Nurse Review here.