A new phase for Engineering and Materials Research in Wales
By Professor Huw Summers, NRN Director
The Sêr Cymru National Research network in Advanced Engineering and Materials was re-launched in 2021. Between 2013 and 2019 the Engineering NRN was highly successful in driving forward R&D in Wales through collaboration. Over 60 R&D projects, partnered by Welsh university researchers and industry teams, were delivered. The continuation of the network in a new project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, through Welsh Government.
The first phase of the Network focussed on building relationships across Wales and beyond through collaborative research projects. With the aim of developing collaborative partnerships to increase research funding, world class publications and deliver a high profile, international presence for Engineering Wales, the programme funded 40 PhD students and 46 postdoctoral researchers in joint programmes with over 70 commercial partners. The bold move by Welsh Government to create the Sêr Cymru programme is now rightly recognised as an innovative and ambitious step that has provided a significant boost to Wales’ R&D capability.
It is excellent to see this momentum maintained in a 2nd phase of the network. Our founding group of university partners has been expanded and we now have representation from all 8 of the Welsh HEIs. The focus over the next 18 months will be on the development of opportunities for collaboration through a range of events and strategy documents, so please stay involved and help us shape the future of Engineering in Wales through community-led initiatives.
In addition to the NRN in Advanced Engineering and Materials, two other networks were originally established to address the Grand Challenge areas identified in the ‘Science for Wales’ strategy. Cross-network interaction continues through working closely with the NRN for Low Carbon, Energy & Environment (led by Bangor University) and the NRN for Life Sciences & Health (led by Cardiff University).
A joint briefing on the need for investment into the Welsh research landscape has been produced and was discussed with the Chief Scientific Advisor for Wales, Professor Peter Halligan, in a first step toward laying out a vision for the future of networking and research in Wales.
Read more about our previous Network research and activities: