Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 31st March 2017

7th European University-Business Forum: University-Business Co-Operation

Wales Higher Education Brussels (WHEB) has confirmed that the Head of Knowledge Exchange at Bangor University, Bryn Jones, will be speaking at the 2017 University Business Forum in Brussels on 6 April. He will cover the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS), Menai Science Park and other Welsh initiatives during his session.  This large conference, organised by the European Commission, will welcome more than 400 high-level representatives from higher education institutions; large companies; SMEs, relevant European organisations and associations; and national, regional and local authorities from Europe and beyond.



PUBLICATION: Innovation Nation

Business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians and top Welsh academics celebrated the launch on Wednesday of a new collection of case studies highlighting the value to the Welsh economy of research and development activity in our universities.

Innovation Nation / Torri Tir Newydd shows the contribution Wales’s universities make outside academia and the thriving partnerships between universities, and businesses and industry.

More than 100 delegates attended the reception in the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, and university exhibitors were on hand to offer further insight into their collaborations with local, national, and international businesses.

 29.03.17Innovation Nation event at The SenneddPicture by Nick Treharne


EVENT: Going Global 2017

22 to 24 May, Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London

In an urban-global age where institutions have unprecedented opportunities to mobilise their expertise, prepare young people for the future and drive forward research and policy agendas at city level and beyond, they are also faced with many challenges. This year’s conference explores how universities and colleges support city-regional economies and social and civic engagement under the banner of Global cities: connecting talent, driving change.



Political Update 

  • Following last week’s debate being cut short due to events in London, the discussion on the recently published report on Implications for Wales of Leaving the European Union was continued during Tuesday’s Plenary session.
  • First Minister Carwyn Jones made an oral statement during Wednesday’s Plenary session responding to the earlier triggering of Article 50. He also issued a press release reiterating that the Welsh Government “remain committed to the priorities set out in our white paper, Securing Wales’ Future, which puts full and unfettered access to the Single Market first and foremost.”
  • During the Short Debate on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and Sport—Can Wales Lead the Way?, pioneering research by Cardiff University was referenced by the debate’s sponsor, Steffan Lewis.
  • Wales has been successful in winning €66m of funding from the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced.
  • Universities in Wales and Ireland are joining forces to investigate how coastal defences and renewable energy schemes can be improved by more eco-friendly designs.
  • The Minister for Skills and Science and the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure have approved a grant for Welsh universities to support costs incurred in facilitating applications to the Sêr Cymru II programme.
  • The Welsh Government is inviting companies and research organisations to apply for a share of up to £1m funding to develop “innovative” solutions to make the food and drink available to children healthier, while reducing the cost.
  • Meanwhile, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales’s Financial Management Code has also been laid, with an explanatory memorandum here. The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee is due discuss the legislation during their meeting on Monday, with supporting documentation here.
  • The Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee has published the findings of its Inquiry into the Apprenticeship Levy. Meanwhile, the Welsh Conservatives have issued a press release in connection with the levy, accusing the Welsh Government of a “dereliction of duty”.
  • The Children, Young People and Education Committee have published a letter from Adam Price to the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language on securing provision for young people with learning disabilities at specialist further education establishments.
  • Marine energy development in Wales received a boost this week with more than £300,000 funding announced for South Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone – the largest wave energy seabed lease in the world.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language and Minister for Skills and Science have agreed to continue the provision of advice to the Welsh Government, and the representation of Wales on EU vocational education and training matters for 2017/18, with the option to extend for 2018/19.
  • The Minister for Skills and Science and the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure have approved funding in 2016/17 and 2017/18 for a Welsh boost to the Skills and Employment Survey 2017.
  • Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, has launched this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.

Unis Wales Update

After a particularly hectic week, next week is shaping up to be just as exciting with meetings with colleagues in London, Bangor, Wrexham and Bedwas in the diary as we move discussions forward around international, Brexit, the UK government’s industrial strategy and our forthcoming public affairs strategy.