N8 Research Partnership July Newsletter

March 2018

Director's Update

Welcome to the March issue of the N8 newsletter.

The first day of Spring marked the end of my first two months as the Director of the N8.  Two months have flown by; meeting colleagues old and new and getting up to speed with the fantastic partnerships of N8 AgriFood, N8 Policing and N8 HPC and representing the N8 regionally and nationally including the Place North West- Science and Technology special event, examining how to grow the North West’s science and tech sector as it takes on the dominance of the South.

At the end of January, N8 Board and the Executive Management Group came together to develop a common understanding of what the N8 is, going forward, and what could be achieved together.  An ambitious array of outcomes was set out for 2023; summarised by the vision:

To be the most effective cluster of research, innovation, and training excellence in the UK, delivering benefits to the economy and communities in the North of England and beyond.

In my earlier newsletter I described my aspiration to establish new and inclusive routes to engage more people across the N8 with our mission, and to draw on a broader range of inputs to priorities than ever before.  I particularly want to highlight the benefits of strong integration across the whole of research for our future programmes.  Many of the challenges we face are socio-economic and can only be solved by a thorough understanding of people’s needs, aspirations, desires and behaviours integrated with creativity from arts and design and with technological and clinical innovation.

I am therefore delighted to launch the N8 priorities survey which will allow us to capture ideas from right across the N8 and from people in different organisations and at different career stages.  Please do share your ideas with us, and encourage your collaborators in business, local government, the NHS, charities etc. to contribute their ideas too.  We want to draw on the ingenuity of the North of England to identify those multidisciplinary challenges where working together the N8 will have sufficient critical mass and world leading expertise to really make a difference, through research, innovation or training (or any combination of the three!).

The survey is at the link below and will be open until 30th April.  It’s not long, so please put your thinking caps on and share your ideas with us.  I really do need your input here so that we can drive the most exciting ideas forward, with opportunities for funding coming through a number of routes as the Government pushes forward its Industrial Strategy.

Some of these ideas may also be suitable for submitting as a proposal for the third wave of societal and industrial challenges to tackle as part of the government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).  Proposed challenges should combine the best ideas from academia and industry to create tangible benefits for the UK in productivity and economic growth.  Challenge ideas must be submitted by consortia, led by a business or industry body. Members can be businesses, academic organisations, public sector bodies, or research and technology organisations.  The closing date for ideas is 18th April and it would be great to see a strong response from N8 university collaborations.

Challenge ideas must also align to one of the 4 priorities within the strategy i.e:

• AI & Data Economy
• Clean Growth
• Future of Mobility the way people, goods and services move
• Ageing Society

If you have a consortium of business and N8 universities, are planning to submit a challenge idea and would like some input from the N8 team - please do let us know.

Dr Annette Bramley
Director, N8 Research Partnership

N8 Future Programme Topics Survey

N8 Future Programme Topics Survey

We need your help to identify key challenges that the N8 might be thinking about for the future. Complete our N8 Future Programme Topics Survey to have your say.

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University of Manchester

N8 universities awarded government funding to support world-leading research

Five N8 universities have secured pump-prime funding to explore a series of critical research areas outlined in the government’s Industrial Strategy.

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N8 AgriFood Annual Conference 2018 poster

N8 AgriFood Annual Conference 2018

The N8 AgriFood annual conference will take place 13-14 June 2018, at the Hilton hotel in Liverpool.

The conference is the preeminent event bringing researchers, industry and external stakeholders together to look at innovative approaches in food systems and sustainability.

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Anthonia James

N8 AgriFood appoints new Operations Director

Anthonia James, who has just taken up her new role at the N8 AgriFood programme, believes that the impact of the North’s research must not be underestimated and holds the potential to create real impact in the worldwide bid to help our food system adapt to the needs of the future.

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The Hand That Sees

N8 university wins top international award for biomedical transformational innovation

Engineers at an N8 university have received international recognition for developing a bionic hand which judges predict will have “a profound and lasting impact on society.

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N8 Universities helping to boost UK engineering

N8 Universities helping to boost UK engineering

N8 Research Partnership Universities are taking part in a major year-long push to promote and celebrate UK engineering, including being involved in new ground-breaking research projects

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Policing forum delegates

N8 Robotics and Autonomous Systems: Student Conference

The N8 Robotics and Autonomous Systems: Student Conference will take place at Newcastle University on 19 April 2018.

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