8 February 2013
A project helping business to get fresh perspectives and tap into the expertise housed in Wales' universities has been given the seal of approval by Deputy Minister for Skills Jeff Cuthbert AM.
The Strategic Insight Programme (SIP), a pan-Wales project funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, was set up to encourage the sharing of knowledge and innovation between university staff and business. The overarching aim is to develop collaborative partnerships to stimulate innovations and ideas by funding short term placements of university staff in public, private and third sector organisations and vice versa. All 11 universities in Wales are involved with the programme.
The Deputy Minister said: "The Strategic Insight Programme is making good progress in improving understanding of how universities and businesses or other organisations can work together and that should be welcomed.
"We know the benefits collaborative working can bring. It's for that reason we want to see more businesses and organisations developing strong links with Welsh universities, sharing good practice and promoting success."
To date, 11 partnerships between Cardiff University staff and a range of different organisations have taken place, including a project bringing together staff from the School of Healthcare Studies with the Commonwealth Games Council for Wales to explore the potential for developing a 'Team Wales' app for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The expertise in the School is helping the Council develop an app to bring together in one place all the different strands of information relating to athletes, medal winners and the relevant social media around the team for the Commonwealth Games.
Gareth Evans, who coordinates the programme on behalf of Cardiff University, said: "Universities are a wealth of expertise and resource, which is not always known by business and third sector organisations.
"Getting involved with SIP can provide much needed fresh perspectives to business and other organisations. It helps both researchers and business gain valuable insights in to each other's organisations, stimulate innovations and often lead to long term collaborations for all those involved – it is proving to be a win-win situation for all involved."
SIP builds capacity for Welsh universities to establish strategic links with external organisations. The programme facilitates this by providing seed funding for short-term placements aimed at developing new cross-sector relationships, encouraging development of strategically beneficial collaborative projects in a supportive environment.