N8 Research Partnership Newsletter - March 2019

March 2019

Director's Update

As we move into the spring I am thinking of the Rudyard Kipling quote, that: “…gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade.” It’s a reminder for me to invest some effort now into my own garden if I want to enjoy its benefits later in the year. 

The same is true for research collaboration. We need to sow seeds and nurture them, we need to provide fertile ground and resources or they will wither.  We need to make choices about what to grow and to be patient - a strong plant will not be the one forced to grow too quickly in the same way as a strong research collaboration will not be one that is pulled together at haste.

Over the past nine months, the N8 team has been preparing the ground for the N8 Board and Strategic Executive Group to plant new collaborative seeds. Some of you will have helped us with this, either through participation at events, such as our advocates meeting, or through providing us with data and information.  We thank everyone who has helped, it has enabled a more robust and transparent process for decision making than ever before and we will reap the rewards of this in the fullness of time. 

This month we were able to make some decisions about the broad areas of focus for nurturing new N8 collaborations over the next 12-18 months.  Two very broad areas have been selected for further scoping; with the working titles of Clean and Productive Businesses and Child of the North.  Over the next few months the team will be planning and executing a number of scoping activities to better define the research questions within these topics, to look for the areas where there is the greatest potential for added value through collaboration between partner universities and with stakeholders in the region.

We are very keen to make sure that all disciplines are represented from the earliest stages of the discussions so that we can look at the broadest range of questions and draw on the most diverse talent pool.  Do get in touch with us if you are interested in contributing to the scoping activities or if you have ideas for research questions.  It is only by working together that we can realise the benefits of our critical mass of research excellence and the cohesion of strategic collaborations.  We are also happy to come out and talk with universities and groups and to listen to your perspectives so again do contact us if this would be of interest. 

And finally, we took the opportunity this month, with the arrival of the annual International Women’s Day celebrations, to spotlight and celebrate some of the fantastic talent within the N8 Research Partnership. Find about more about some of the women across the N8 universities and their outstanding achievements by following the #N8Women hashtag on Twitter and LinkedIn.

As always, you can keep up to date with the N8 research partnership on twitter (@N8research) and with me on twitter (AnnetteB_N8) or LinkedIn.  Do connect with us.

business of science conference

N8 Research Partnership sponsors Innovation Award at 2019 Business of Science Conference

The N8 Research Partnership is proud to be among those sponsoring the 2019 Business of Science Conference, which is being held in Leeds for the first time this year.

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N8 ‘police-datathon’ to predict future crime areas

The N8 Policing Research Partnership (N8 PRP) is holding what has been described both as a ‘police-datathon’ and an ‘un-conference’ to unearth future crime issues.

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Collaboration is the focus at 4th ResoN8 Biophysical and Biochemistry Symposium

Leading researchers from across the north of England met at the fourth ResoN8 Biophysical and Biochemistry Symposium to share research and technical expertise, and promote new opportunities for collaboration across the biophysical and biochemical science landscape.

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Revolutionising education with artificial intelligence and automation

Director of N8 Research Partnership, Annette Bramley discusses how our education system is likely to be revolutionised by the onward march of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation in this thought-provoking piece. 

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Facilitating Collaboration – the Northern Quantum Meeting series

Join us at the Northern Quantum Meeting, held by the White Rose Universities.

These meetings are an ideal first opportunity for presenting novel results away from home for many PhD students.

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Bioeconomy initiative BioYork gets the Royal seal of approval

Princess Anne was guest of honour at the official launch of University of York’s new bioeconomy initiative, BioYork. Read more about her visit and this exciting project. 

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N8 universities secure £100m of funding to develop skills needed for UK prosperity

The latest funding round for the Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), will see £100 million of £446 million invested in Northern research.

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Durham and partners offer opportunity for 100 women to retrain in tech

Read our latest case study on funding to retrain one hundred women across the north and midlands in the digital sector thanks to a new online programme, thanks to £500,000 from the Institute of Coding (IoC) to launch a new programme to retrain women in technology.

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Divining Roots: revealing how plants branch out to access water

Read our recent case study on research published recently in Science, which highlights a new molecular mechanism discovered by collaborating teams at the universities of Durham and Nottingham.

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Police Responses to Coercive Control

N8 researchers at Lancaster University have recently developed the ‘coercive control learning tool’ to help equip police officers with the skills to provide an improved service for victims of the complex law.

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