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May’s Networking Event – post event summary

June 4, 2024


IRC Networking Event – Thursday 16th May 2024, The Studio, Birmingham

Our networking event in May brought together over 60 innovation and research colleagues as well as stakeholders from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Innovate UK and ESRC.

The event was designed to provide a space to openly discuss the directions and evidence needs for research and innovation support, to share insights to help inform projects and gaps in R&I and to update our community on where the IRC is currently as well as our plans for the future.

The day began with a welcome message from Professor Stephen Roper, IRC Co-Director, who discussed the current IRC projects as well as the projects which successfully secured funding from our last Open Call.

Following this, Professor Stephen Roper chaired a panel event with Mel Knetsch (Deputy Director: Financial Sustainability & Impact, UKRI), Dan Hodges (Deputy Director of Strategy​, Innovate UK) and Huw Vasey (Deputy Director of Innovation, Business Engagement and Commercialisation​, ESRC). The session provided attendees with a better understanding of how UKRI and policymakers value and use evidence as well as gaining an insight into how UKRI works. This session provided the context for the following breakout sessions where attendees were given the opportunity to engage with UKRI stakeholders and share insights around specific challenges and questions on the themes of social impact, economic growth and evidencing R&I. 

In the second half of the day, attendees took part in a session on actionable insights where they were introduced to the definition of an actionable insight and what to consider when thinking about actionable insights for their own research. The next session was an opportunity to showcase the work of the IRC and discuss specific projects such as Commercialisation, Innovation Infrastructure and Skills Framework with attendees to gather further insights.

The final part of the day explored the investment and knowledge gaps in the R&I network.

Overall, the event provided attendees with the opportunity to learn more about UKRI, the IRC and meet fellow innovation and research colleagues.

“I enjoyed the networking event as it helped me connect with UKRI funders and stakeholders and meet other researchers with similar interests.” (Jinmin Wang, attendee)

We are planning more events, so keep an eye out for more information on our social media channels and on our website. Sign up for our newsletter and apply to join our membership to receive regular communications from us.

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