N8 Research Partnership Newsletter - September 2018

September 2018

Director's Update

As we move into the autumn, it brings to a close an exciting few months for the N8 Research Partnership. Our first ever advocates event in May was excellent - we generated a number of ideas and actions for moving forward at individual, network and university levels. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed their time, ideas and enthusiasm to help us take the N8 Research Partnership forward. 

Since the event we have:

• Shared the outputs with the Strategic Executive Group (PVC-Rs) and communications leads;
• Developed a “long-list” of broad research topics which could form the basis of future N8 collaborations, including ideas generated through the workshop and the survey;
• Obtained data from the universities regarding the existing collaborative grants between N8 partners;
• Collated this data and will use this to support decision-making in refining the long-list of topics towards a short-list which will form the basis of our research strategy.
• Developed a more transparent process for selecting research priorities and programmes which will allow the N8 portfolio to develop and for new ideas to be brought forward “bottom-up”. More information about this will follow when we have agreed this with the Board and SEG.

Our first network proposal, generated “bottom-up” as a result of this workshop, has been submitted to EPSRC and we wish the investigators every success with this. 

I’m sure those of you who came to the workshop will recognise that many of these activities came about as a direct result of ideas and suggestions made during the day; your input has absolutely made a difference to the direction of travel - we really couldn’t be doing this without you.

During the autumn I’m excited to say that we have a new colleague joining the N8 Directorate team; Steve Parkinson will join us as a Research Partnership Manager alongside Nick Goldspink.

Steve will take the lead on: N8 Policing Research Partnership, Capital Efficiency & HPC, Transport and AI and Data Science; while Nick will lead on N8 AgriFood, Energy (including Fusion) and portfolio and landscape analysis. I will continue to lead on health and the interface to the Northern Health Science Alliance. As the range of N8 activities develops, our roles will evolve to reflect our strategic priorities.

I will be spending time over the coming months at a number of national and regional events contributing to the debate on how the North of England’s world-class research and innovation can play a vital role in rebalancing the UK’s economy. I will also be embedding myself within Research Offices from time to time. I do hope to see many of you on my travels and catch up with your ideas and views about how best to work together to deliver the vision of the N8 Research Partnership.

Dr Annette Bramley

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