N8 Research Partnership December Newsletter

December 2016

Director's Update - Innovation and International Collaboration

Welcome to the December issue of the N8 Research Partnership Newsletter.

In this issue, we have focussed on important progress in understanding current innovation assets in the North, and on strategies for advancing innovation for economic growth. Also, it includes several examples of N8 universities working together to increase international partnership opportunities.

Science & Innovation Audit reports, from Greater Manchester & East Cheshire, and Lancashire and Sheffield City Region, have provided strong evidence for strengths in advanced materials and manufacturing, and health innovation.

A second wave of eight more audits for the UK was announced at autumn statement. It is fantastic to see that four of these have core leadership from N8 universities and Northern LEPs. The audits will strengthen the evidence for our capabilities in four key economic capabilities:

• Health & Life Sciences, focussing on Bio-economy, MedTech, and Infectious Disease;
• Energy, focussing on Offshore Technologies and Bio-economy;
• Advanced Manufacturing & Materials through analysis of Materials Chemistry strengths;
• and Digital, through analysing capabilities in High Performance and Cognitive Computing.

I am very pleased to see announced in the government’s new Northern Powerhouse Strategy, a stated desire to work closely with N8 in advancing innovation, enterprise, and urban transformation. The N8’s report The Power of 8: Knowledge, Innovation and Growth for the North provides the first comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of the N8 universities on the Northern economy.

The evidence within the report is impressive: N8 universities are responsible for 119,000 Northern jobs, £12.2 billion generated in revenue, £6.6 billion GVA, and more than 17000 small and medium sized businesses assisted. In a recent meeting with Andrew Percy, the Northern Powerhouse minister, I was delighted to be able to describe the great work of Northern universities to underpin the Northern Powerhouse strategy.

N8’s interest in collaborating beyond the North is exemplified in recent strategic visits to China and France. The North presenting itself as a region easy to collaborate with, and to invest in, is a core component for future economic success.

As members of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership programme with government, the N8 universities will play a key role in Northern economic reimagining. I welcome those who want to work with us to build a successful future for the economy of the Northern region, to contact me for more information, or to get involved in our programmes.

Dr Peter Simpson
Director, N8 Research Partnership

National Graphene Institute

N8 universities help highlight Northern strengths through Science & Innovation Audits

The final reports from two Science and Innovation Audits involving three N8 universities have highlighted Northern regional strengths in health innovation, advanced materials and high value manufacturing.

Read the full article about the first wave of SIAs below:

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Autumn Statement 2016

Chancellor recognises Northern capabilities in latest Science & Innovation Audits

The N8 has welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond's announcement of four more Science and Innovation Audits involving N8 universities, which will highlight Northern strengths in key sectors of the economy.

Read the full article about the second wave of SIAs below:

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N8 visit France

N8 explores future research collaboration opportunities with France

A delegation of N8 university leaders has visited France to explore collaboration opportunities.

The visit was organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Science & Innovation Network, with the N8 delegation led by Professor Koen Lamberts, chair of N8 and Vice-Chancellor of the University of York.

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N8 AgriFood delegation to China

N8 Agrifood moves closer to collaboration with China

N8 AgriFood leaders have been investigating areas of research collaboration with Chinese counterparts during a UK Department of Trade and Industry-led delegation to the China Agricultural Fair  in Yangling.

N8 representatives met with the Chinese Science Academy as well as being part of the MOU signing ceremony between Innovate UK and the China Ministry of Science and Technology.

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Policing Innovation Forum

Major research forum targets innovations in policing Domestic Abuse

Policing of domestic abuse has been put under the spotlight at second annual Policing Innovation Forum, looking at innovative ways of tackling one of the biggest issues facing society.

The N8 Policing Research Partnership measured, for the first time, practitioners’ views on a broad range of policing challenges in the area of domestic abuse.

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IBiolC training awards

PhD scheme encourages N8 student collaboration with Industry in Industrial Biotechnology

BBSRC have approved £2.6m funding to The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) for a Collaborative Training Partnership which enables N8 universities to host industry-led PhD studentships.

These training awards will fund projects in Industrial Biotechnology, Bioenergy and World Class Underpinning Science in Scottish and N8 universities.

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Universities can play a central role in future UK economic success and global influence

Professor Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor, University of Liverpool and Vice-President of Universities UK, England and Northern Ireland, and N8 Board member, argues that – despite significant challenges ahead – universities can thrive in a post-Brexit world, with Government support and investment.

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The Power of 8: Knowledge, Innovation and Growth for the North

The Power of 8 details how the N8 institutions, as major economic enterprises, generate massive revenue and economic activity in the North of England, as well as creating thousands of jobs and attracting investment to the region.

Click the link below to find out more, or download the report.

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