Select Committee on Science and Technology Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 1


MechanismsDescription NERC involvement
CONNECTInitiates new interactions between the Science Base (universities, NERC Centre/Surveys and NERC approved academic analogues) and industry, business, commerce or public sector bodies. In 1998-99 NERC was involved in 7 connect schemes.
Industrial CASEThis studentship scheme aims to provide UK-based industry, business or commerce with the opportunity to formulate and submit a three-year PhD research studentship application. In 1998-99 NERC was involved in 16 industrial CASE schemes.
LINKThis initiative is operated by OST and offers a mechanism for collaboration between the public and private sectors in areas of strategic importance to the national economy as identified by Foresight. NERC is currently involved in 6 LINK schemes, including Earth Observation, Aquaculture and Ocean Margins.
(Realising our Potential Awards)
Provides opportunity for curiosity-motivated research to applicants who already have a record of securing funds for generic research from bona fide industry, business or commerce. In 1998-99 NERC was involved in 11 ROPA schemes.
(Joint Research Equipment Initiative)
Researchers are able to apply for equipment grants on the condition that matching funds from an industrial collaborator are available and that the proposals are in line with Foresight. In 1998-99 NERC was involved in 11 JREI schemes.
(Teaching Company Schemes)
TCS supports partnerships between universities and companies for technology transfer and training. In 1998-99 NERC was involved in 8 TCS schemes.
Concordats with government departments Formal agreements between NERC and government departments providing a framework for promoting effective interaction and developing collaboration. NERC has signed Concordats with 6 Government Departments/Agencies, and has Memorandums of Understanding with 2 others.
Agreements with local governmentNERC seeks to involve relevant stakeholders such as local authorities in its programmes. Eg Local Authority Research Council Initiative (LARCI). This initiative aimed at improving communication channels between the science base/research councils and local authorities. The initiative involved BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, NERC and MRC. It focused on areas such as the management and remediation of brownfield sites and contaminated land.
Links with industry and governmentInitiatives which involve stakeholders from government, Industry and the Research community. Eg Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environment (CLAIRE) a public/private partnership involving stakeholders from government policy makers; regulators; industry; research organisations; technology developers. CLAIRE's mission is to catalyse the development of cost-effective methods of investigating and remediating contaminated land in a sustainable way.
Cross Research CouncilJoint research initiatives with other Research Councils. NERC is involved in a number of cross research Council initiative eg the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (ESRC, BBSRC), the gene flow programme (BBSRC), the Initiative in Environment and Health (MRC).
Spin out companiesCompanies created as a result of opportunities created by NERC funded research. An example of successful commercialisation of academic research is Evolutec, a Company developing a number of promising new drugs for treating diseases such as asthma, allergy and rheumatoid arthritis.
Other ad-hoc linksNERC is continually seeking new ways to increase partnerships and enhance knowledge transfer and use of data arising from NERC research to increase exploitation of NERC science and other mechanisms. Eg The TSUNAMI initiative aims to improve the competitiveness of the UK insurance industry by using the UK science effort to improve the assessment of risk. It is jointly funded by the Insurance Division of the Treasury and a consortium of composite insurers, brokers and Lloyd's managing agencies. Government support is from the Sector Challenge of the Department of Trade and Industry.

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