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14th June 2018
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Blog by Dr Luke Piggott at Wales Cancer Research Centre: Research and Innovation Report

Blog by Dr Luke Piggott

Last Thursday at the Science and Innovation conference I attended, Julie Williams (leader of the house and chief whip, Welsh Government) introduced a review of Government Funded Research and Innovation in Wales by Prof. Graeme Reid (released on the same day). I think this will be an important document for shaping Welsh policy and the Welsh Assembly has accepted the three main recommendations made by Prof. Reid in the review. These three recommendations are:

  • that the Welsh Government increases the visibility and influence of Welsh research by creating a new Welsh Research and Innovation London Office (WRILO).
  • that the Welsh Government strengthens the Welsh research base and enables Welsh researchers to attract a greater share of UK-wide funding by implementing Diamond’s recommendation for QR funding and creating an additional Future of Wales Fund specifically to incentivise Welsh researchers to win funding from outside Wales.
  • that the Welsh Government increases the visibility, coherence and impact of research and innovation in Wales by creating a single overarching brand for its innovation activities: the St David’s Investment Fund. This should be worth some £35m yearly in the first instance but with the potential to grow to £100m yearly or more, post-BrExit.

Additionally, it was made very clear by the UKRI and Innovate UK that they intend to favour “deprived economical areas” of which Wales fits the bill, for their investments over the next waves of funding calls. This is because they wish to fund innovation in areas where they are most likely to have economical and policy impact which is less likely in areas such as London. Again, I think we should be publicising these calls to encourage applications (these are industry collaboration bids). My new role at the Wales Cancer Research Centre is Translational Collaborations Manager. If members of the research community in Wales have ideas and wish to make industry contacts to pursue these calls I would be happy to help foster collaborations to do so. If you would like to discuss this further you can contact me on PiggottL@cardiff.ac.uk, or my colleague Rachel Savery on SaveryR@cardiff.ac.uk.

Read the full report here