N8 Research Partnership March Newsletter

March 2016

Director's Update

Welcome to the latest news from the N8 Research Partnership.

Over the last couple of months, I have been greatly encouraged to see new and ongoing developments across the North. Notably, the Budget has seen a very welcome government commitment to further investment in Northern infrastructure.

A reliable infrastructure is a necessary though not sufficient enabling condition for the region’s renaissance. Lord O’Neill has identified the importance of skills and innovation for Northern growth and productivity, and I concur with this. Through universities working imaginatively with businesses, cities and LEPs, research strengths can be translated into innovation-led economic revitalisation. This can happen because research strengths in universities deliver a highly skilled workforce for existing employers to grow, and new knowledge that can lead to business start-up and scale-up opportunities.

The North’s innovation potential will need further funding and national government support to bring it to fruition. Targeted investment can unlock the region’s exciting potential for innovation-led economic revitalisation. The announcement of investment in Smart Data Innovation in Newcastle is one very welcome example. At the same time, the ongoing appointments of senior academics across N8 are a further sign of the growth of N8’s AgriFood research programme into a reality. The first wave of Science and Innovation Audits will begin to strengthen the evidence base for further investment.

The N8 Research Partnership continues to bring forward ideas and programmes to help accelerate this economic transformation - by investment in the world-class researchers and facilities in the North. We are actively engaging with other key sectoral organisations and leaders about delivering the exciting potential of an innovation-led economy for the North.

This month, I and N8 and N8HPC colleagues have had the great opportunity of talking to academic leaders from Turkey as part of Manchester’s Year as City of Science and the UK-Turkey Year of Science; I have also spoken at the NW Business Leaders Forum while visiting the exciting developments at the Alderley Part Life Sciences campus; and I spoke at Inside Government’s Efficiencies in Higher Education event. It has been great to see the enthusiasm and welcome I have received from these very different groups to the N8 message of collaboration, efficiency and innovation.

In this newsletter, we showcase just a few examples of N8 researchers working in close collaboration across institutions and with public and private sectors’ practitioners to deliver impact. I hope you will see interesting news stories that you will follow up on. Please feel free to contact me for more information, or to get involved in our programmes.

Dr Peter Simpson
Director, N8 Research Partnership

MP Chi Onwurah, Profesor Koen Lamberts

N8 leadership meet MPs at parliamentary event to discuss Innovation-led economic growth

The N8 Research Partnership has outlined its vision for Innovation-led Northern economic growth in an event at the Houses of Parliament.

Read more about this event here.

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The 2016 Budget reaction from N8

The 2016 Budget reaction from the N8 Research Partnership

N8 welcomes the further investment in establishing a modern infrastructure for the North, in the 2016 budget.

Read Director Peter Simpson's response to the Chancellor's announcement.

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Sir Alan Langlands and Professor Koen Lamberts

N8 appoints Koen Lamberts, Vice Chancellor of the University of York, as Chair of Board of Directors

Professor Koen Lamberts, Vice Chancellor of the University of York will take over from Sir Alan Langlands as Chair of the N8 Board of Directors.

Find out more about Professor Lamberts' role at N8.

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N8 Agrifood launch event

Launch Event for N8 AgriFood announced

This major forum, part of N8’s AgriFood Resilience programme, is a unique opportunity for industry to explore at first hand the real the potential for collaborative new projects and solutions to the major food, supply chain and agritech challenges.

Book your place at the launch event now.

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Inside Government Forum - N8

N8 Director tells Inside Government forum how N8 is a model for efficiency in research and innovation

Dr Peter Simpson spoke at the Inside Government Forum “Improving Higher Education Efficiency Through Shared Services”, where he delivered the closing keynote speech on “Coming Together to Support a Better Understanding of Asset Sharing”.

Read more about this event.

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Co-production final report

Knowledge That Matters: Realising the Potential of Co-Production – Launch of Final Report

The final report of the N8 / ESRC research programme entitled: Knowledge That Matters: Realising The Potential of Co-production has recently been completed and the official launch of the findings will take place on 4th May in Sheffield.

Find out more and register to attend this event.

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Dr Peter Simpson, Dr Nick Goldspink, Dr Gillian Sinclair

N8 trio speak at UK-Turkey science and innovation closing ceremony

UK-Turkey Year of Science and Innovation began in March 2015, marking an important milestone in UK-Turkey scientific collaboration. Dr Peter Simpson, Dr Nick Goldspink, and Dr Gillian Sinclair spoke on N8 programmes, at the closing ceremony.

Read more about this milestone event.

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N8 Science Innovation Audits

N8 universities will be central to new UK innovation programme

Three N8 universities are to be part of the UK’s first Science Innovation Audit sites. These audits will help to identify innovation strengths, major investment opportunities and ways to enhance research innovation and infrastructure across Britain.

Find out more about the SIAs.

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