RAEng-EPSRC study on assessing the economic returns to the UK of investment in engineering research and associated training

In the spirit of evidence-based policy development, the RAEng and the EPSRC have joined forces in a project chaired by Professor John Fisher CBE FREng, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leeds, to run a study to assess the economic returns to the UK of investment in engineering research and associated training. This type of analysis has been used extensively by other representative organisations such as Universities UK and the Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute of Physics etc in presenting their cases for investment to Government yet has not been systematically and comprehensively attempted before for the engineering community (owing to its diversity and complexity). This diversity and complexity was re-iterated in the initial workshop held at the RAEng last month, with representatives of employers, universities and their representative groups (including EPC) alike welcoming the initiative but warning of the need to be “approximately right rather than precisely wrong”…

One of the major inputs to the study will be the rich source of information provided in the impact case studies submitted as part of the Research Excellence Framework. Some of you may recall that EPC called for you to submit your (non confidential) case studies into a repository which could be used for purposes such as this some time ago. It may have been a little early in the cycle of development for you to do so in numbers when we made this call in 2012/13 but we urge you now to support the call that EPSRC recently made to universities to do so as input to this project. We understand that around 27 university engineering departments have already done so. If you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you make your submissions to Stephen Loader, Senior Manager, Evidence and Impact at EPSRC (Stephen.Loader@epsrc.ac.uk). He promises to treat them with respect they deserve and abide by any confidentiality requirements. You can read more about the project and the feedback provided at the initial workshop by clicking Read More below. And if you’ve any feedback or thoughts on the study, please let us have them so we can feed them in (s.kay@epc.ac.uk).

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