Attracting the best academic talent
As the world has become more globalised and interconnected than ever before, being multilingual has become increasingly important and often seen as essential. As new economies develop rapidly, the value of being able to speak Mandarin, Arabic and Hindi is increasing. However, English remains the leading international language, with an estimated 1.5 billion speakers across the world.
Professor Jeremy Stone (Chair of the Industry Panel), Professor Dylan Jones-Evans (Director of Research and Innovation), Professor Marc Clement (Vice Chancellor) and Hugh Thomas (Chairman of the University?s Council) celebrate the creation of the Prince of Wales Innovation Scholarships
In a world of increasing global competition and rapid technological change, where small peripheral regions such as Wales can be at a disadvantage, economic prosperity will increasingly depend on the ability to innovate successfully.
Even within the most technologically advanced economies, there is a growing realisation that not all of this innovation can be developed internally. As a result, an increasing number of countries are providing tens of millions of pounds of incentives to attract quality graduates to boost their innovation potential.
However, many are concerned that the UK is not doing enough and that even the best British universities are falling behind in the drive to attract the best academic talent. Only last year, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge suggested that the UK was not providing enough resources to recruit sufficient extraordinary people to be at the frontier of research excellence. This is a challenge that the University of Wales is taking seriously.
If Wales is to succeed as a small, clever nation, then it must harness the best of its academic talents whilst nurturing the innovative capacity of its business sector. This is why the University of Wales has launched the Prince of Wales Innovation Scholarships to attract 100 of the brightest university graduates from the world?s best academic institutions to work on research projects within Welsh companies.
Supported by European Structural Funding, the private sector and the University?s own resources, this £11.4 million programme will offer one of the best research stipends in the world to bring in the best talent to help improve the Welsh economy. As a result, graduates will undertake three-year placements in Welsh businesses, working on science and technology-based projects that are of direct relevance to enhancing the innovative capacity of each participating company.
The aim of the programme is to bring the best global graduates to work within Welsh industry to help build up research capacity and enhance innovative potential. By identifying a specific research project, each participating business will recruit a qualified graduate to develop its R&D capability and cutting-edge thinking. Supported by academic supervisors, the project will focus on developing research that will result in new patents, new products, processes and technologies and the creation of new spinout firms or cost centres to pursue the commercialisation opportunities.
These projects will not only enhance the R&D capability of businesses, but will boost their capacity to develop new market-led processes, products, technologies and services, thereby improving the innovation potential and the competitiveness of the Welsh economy. For potential scholars, the annual stipend will be one of the highest in the world ? £20,000 per annum ? and tuition fees will be waived by the participating institutions.
The scholarship holder will also receive a research grant of £5,000 to cover the cost of equipment, books and travel. To make the most of the talents available, the University of Wales is also establishing a full support programme to enhance the capacity and capability of each graduate, thus ensuring that they are fully contributing to the activities of the participating company.
Innovation scholars and participating businesses will be invited to participate in a number of events throughout the course of the programme, with the emphasis on innovation management, leadership and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs and executives from the best international companies will act as lecturers and advisors, providing participants with the benefit of their experience and expertise in the field of business innovation.
HRH the Prince of Wales launches the Prince of Wales Innovation Scholarship programme at Clarence House, London
The Prince of Wales Innovation Scholarships will make a significant impact on innovation in Wales and has the capacity to help change the Welsh economy. Already, a number of high-technology innovative firms have signed up to the project to help the University ensure that innovation and enterprise become a by-word for the Welsh business sector and to show that a small economy can punch above its weight and compete successfully with the best in the world.
The University of Wales has been in detailed discussions with some of the world?s leading research universities in Europe, the USA and Asia to discuss ways of collaborating on this project and bring some of the best students to Wales.
Earlier this year, Professor Marc Clement ? the Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales ? met with the President of the University of California to examine how both institutions could work together to develop innovation within Wales. With over 50% of the hightechnology firms established in Silicon Valley being started by non-Americans, California has demonstrated that the attraction of graduate talent from overseas can boost the economy. Indeed, the fact that the digital revolution is being led by companies such as Google, YouTube and Yahoo is testament to how young scientific talent can boost entrepreneurial potential. These sentiments were recently echoed by the former Lord Mayor of London, Sir David Lewis, who stated that ?Wales needs to become less insular and more international if it is to match rival UK countries ? We are not outward-looking and expanding the way that we should be. The way to grow is to look outward, not inward. That can be addressed through education, by welcoming foreign expertise to Wales.?
The University of Wales fully supports Sir David?s comments and welcomes the opportunity to bring the best of the world to Wales and, in return, take the best of Wales to the world. HRH the Prince of Wales, the Chancellor of the University of Wales, has given his full blessing to the programme and is passionate about supporting, whenever he can, its activities during the next six years. At the launch of the scholarship programme in May at Clarence House in London, HRH the Prince of Wales, said: ?It seems to me entirely fitting that an institution which was created through the determination and enthusiasm of the ordinary people of Wales should choose to work in the service of those people and I am proud, as the University?s Chancellor, to lend my support to the Scholarships ? ?they are, I think, a very practical and very exciting answer to how higher education can help the Welsh economy in a time of crisis.?
The Prince of Wales Innovation Scholarships will develop Wales? knowledge and science base and enhance its contribution to economic prosperity as the world emerges from recession. In an increasingly competitive global environment, science is vital for a successful 21st century economy, and businesses need to have ready access to the latest developments in science and technology. These scholarships will help ensure Welsh companies incorporate innovation into the goods and services they produce and export around the world.
By focusing on bringing the best academic talent to bear on the Welsh business community, the University of Wales believes that this programme will make a real difference to the potential of the Welsh economy and, more importantly, will signal to graduates and businesses alike that Wales is open for business and ready to innovate.
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Prince of Wales Innovation Scholarships
Added the 06 October 2009 in category Innovation UK Vol5-2