Research network makes case for science underpinning the Programme for Government

Welsh Government’s Research & Innovation Strategic Engagement Group (RISE) brings together key stakeholders within Welsh Government who support and develop research that happens in Wales.

Research network director Prof Julia P G Jones was invited to make the case to First Minister Mark Drakeford and the RISE group for why investment in science underpins the Programme for Government. Programmes such as Sêr Cymru, to which the research network belongs, are a proven and well-established mechanism to increase the funding brought into Wales – an all-important topic as we near the end of EU structural funds, which has underpinned many of Welsh Government’s investments in the both academic and scientific sectors.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for us to present our latest tool to help facilitate connections between Welsh Government and the brilliant researchers working in Wales’ universities. We call this a ‘mapping document’. It has been created to help draw connections between commitments in Welsh Labour’s 2021-2026 Programme for Government and the necessary research topics required to achieve them.

The Programme for Government sets out Welsh Government’s commitments for the 6th Senedd, from 2021 to 2026. Wales has enormous strength in research which can contribute to the delivery of these commitments. However, it can be difficult for policy makers to access the expertise of researchers quickly and efficiently. Therefore, we have produced a map which draws out commitments from the Programme for Government which have a connection to low carbon energy and environment research, identifies societal outcomes which these commitments aim to provide (green boxes), and indicates the areas of research strength (blue boxes) in Wales which can help deliver on these commitments.

The map is high-level and broad brush. We envisage it being useful to senior civil servants and ministers to identify senior academics who can give an overview of a research area and how it can contribute to policy.

This map in no way represents all areas of research strength in Wales – we are truly blessed with depth and breadth of research strength across the Low Carbon Energy and Environment space. For more specific recommendations, the Low Carbon Energy and Environment Research Network Wales can make detailed recommendations and connect you with the right researchers.

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