Westminster Higher Education Forum Online Conference : Priorities for international research partnerships


Thursday 18 June 2020

This online conference will focus on the future for international research partnerships and the next steps for retaining research talent within the UK.

There will also be discussion reflecting the experience of the COVID-19 epidemic - including in the areas of:

  • fast-tracked research and implementing the results of innovative collaborations, 
  • international relationships, and 
  • joint working between universities and organisations in the private sector. 


Key areas for discussion: 

The International Research Strategy published by BEIS - examining progress and implementation issues, including in the areas of:

  • partnerships internationally and between the HE sector and businesses,
  • the provision of incentives and financial support for innovative start-ups and scale-ups, and
  • legal and regulatory structures for innovation and the protection of intellectual property.


The Smith-Reid Review, commissioned by the Government into international partnership opportunities for UK research, and its recommendations on:

  • improving the agility of research funding to better respond to unexpected opportunities, with the creation of two major new funding schemes, and
  • development of a Global Talent Strategy for attracting a wider range of research and scientific talent into the UK, as well as issues around:
  • developing new frameworks to support UK research partnerships with international partners globally, and
  • how to reduce barriers to collaboration between universities and businesses in the UK and their overseas counterparts.


The Global Talent fast-track visa route and other suggested initiatives to increase the attractiveness of the UK as a place to conduct research, such as:

  • increasing the number of scholarships available to international researchers, and
  • introducing flexible visas that allow researchers to travel outside of the UK to engage in research partnerships.


Funding and the UK relationship with EU research institutions, looking at:

  • Horizon Europe and potential lack of access to European Research Council funding, and
  • the options through domestic funding and securing alternative international partnerships.


Preparing for any changes to current partnerships and steps that universities and businesses will need to take, looking at:

  • future policy options and models of engagement, and
  • strategies for safeguarding and expanding their positioning in international research.


Implications of the government target of investment in R&D by government and business equating to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, including:

  • what will be needed to achieve it, and the contribution from the Higher Education sector, as well as
  • the challenges to be addressed, particularly in the area of research infrastructure.


Findings of the UKRI report into UK research infrastructure, which centred on opportunities for the UK to improve its research capacity and focussed on six areas, identified in the report as: ideas, people, infrastructure, the business environment, place, and the Grand Challenges.


Click here for more information and to register for this online conference.




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University of Liverpool

Block A: Waterhouse Buildings

1-5 Brownlow Street

Liverpool L69 3GL

Email: cjmcn@liverpool.ac.uk

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