Welsh Crucible alumni are helping stimulate innovation and multi-disciplinary collaboration between researchers and business through a new partnership initiative launching tonight.
The Partnership led by Airbus, Welsh Crucible, Welsh Government, IQE and National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) will launch the inaugural IPW challenge at Airbus Group’s campus in Newport.
This new competitive initiative brings together past Welsh Crucible participants with individuals from industry and government to identify innovative ideas and research propositions, answering a series of challenges ranging from Creating Smarter & Safer Future Cities, to Improving Green Manufacturing. Guest speakers will include John Pelton MBE, who will speak about innovation in the Crossrail project.
For three months multi-disciplinary teams will generate innovative solutions that address the challenges set at December’s launch. The initiative offers competitors a unique opportunity to harness their creative skills outside the restraints of the normal research and development process.
In March 2015, successful teams will ‘pitch’ their big ideas to an expert panel of leading representatives from Welsh Industry and Academia with a view to competing to receive grant funding to develop their ideas into an offer ready for commercial investment.
This is the latest in a series of alumni activities, as part of Welsh Crucible Plus. Welsh Crucible Plus will be bringing together participants from all the years of the Crucible to build on previous developments and facilitate future collaboration and innovation.
Welsh Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: ”This challenge supports the Wales Innovation Strategy by promoting, encouraging and developing a culture of open innovation to deliver results. I am pleased to see the challenge involves collaborative working between industry and academia to find the most innovative and creative solution for some very real and complex strategic issues.”
The NCUB will assess the competition on behalf of UK Government as a potential best practice model for industry and academic collaboration.
Dr David Docherty (Chief Executive, NCUB) comments: “Wales has a strong track record ensuring business and universities work together. As we face more complex challenges in the future, the importance of interdisciplinary approaches will be crucial to help provide solutions. We are delighted to provide our expertise and networks to help drive this agenda forward in Wales.”