Swansea University and businesses spend quality time to develop economic benefits

Swansea University is working with businesses and organisations in a new way by providing short-term placements for employers and staff, thanks to the pan-Wales Strategic Insight Programme (SIP).

So far the Strategic Insight Programme has supported over 30 placements between Swansea University, businesses and organisations, surpassing original expectations and targets. Chris Talbot, SIP Coordinator and Programme Manager, Department of Research and Innovation at Swansea University is delighted with the impact the programme has made.

He said: SIP placements are a wonderful opportunity for businesses and organisations to develop new relationships and explore some really exciting ideas with Swansea University which can develop into future collaborations. The placements provide funding to staff from the university or organisation to spend quality time sharing knowledge, developing understanding and scoping opportunities within the host organisation away from the pressures of their everyday role. A small investment of time initially will lead to something much bigger, with bigger rewards and returns for both the academic and the business involved.

The placements aim to build strong, strategic relationships between Swansea University and business.  The placements can act as a springboard for ideas, where both parties are allowed valuable thinking time to develop ideas for other projects after the placement has ended.

Huw Mogan from GP Commissioning Solutions Ltd based in Llanelli, spent time with the College of Medicine at Swansea University and as a result identified two new commercial projects between Swansea University, their business and paying customers.  The relationship has developed further and GPC has now developed a new health laboratory project with the College of Medicine, enabling them to enhance their software applications that will bring about other, new commercial opportunities. 

He said: ‘We expect to maintain and build on the opportunity that this project has provided and work even more closely with Swansea University.  Being able to provide dedicated time to discuss our ideas with academic staff has enabled us to not only identify new prospects and opportunities for the University, but also for ourselves and third partner organisations.’ 

Essential to its success, SIP placements depend on the right match between a business and an academic at Swansea University.  With another year of funding extending the original programme to July 2014, Swansea University is looking forward to another year of working with businesses and organisations and developing future exciting collaborations.