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Dennis Novy Wins University Public Engagement Award

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Dennis Novy Wins University Public Engagement Award


Dennis Novy, Associate Professor of Economics, has been named a winner of the University of Warwick’s Research Impact and Public Engagement Awards. The honour recognises his work as the Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a proposed free trade agreement under negotiation between the European Union and the United States that, if successful, would constitute the biggest free trade agreement in history. Novy is an expert on international trade and has widely published on related issues, including the effect of free trade agreements.

In July 2013 the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on External Affairs appointed Novy as its Specialist Adviser for their inquiry into TTIP. The Committee collected evidence from expert witnesses from July 2013 until March 2014 and published a final report in May 2014. The report will be debated in the House of Lords, and HM Government has to respond to it. As the academic adviser to the Committee, Novy’s involvement was crucial for the collection of evidence and the production of the report. His engagement with the legislators from the House of Lords was a sustained commitment over a ten-month period from July 2013 until May 2014. The engagement was weekly (in Parliament in London) and also included two diplomatic trips to Brussels and Washington, DC.

The feedback from the peers proved crucial to start new research. For instance, it became apparent throughout the process that non-tariff barriers (such as regulatory differences on both sides of the Atlantic, say, for car safety standards) are the most important impediments to free trade between the EU and the US. However, the academic literature overwhelmingly focuses on tariff barriers. Novy has started new research to bridge that gap. He has already published a policy article outlining this research agenda. This article is available here: (“TTIP - Is Free Trade Coming to the North Atlantic?”)

In addition, Novy kept his students abreast of his role in the House of Lords during his lectures at the University of Warwick throughout the 2013/14 academic year. In particular, his third-year undergraduate module on International Trade (EC336) was a forum where the TTIP developments and his work in the House of Lords were discussed with students.

Abhinay Muthoo, head of the Department of Economics, said the award was well-deserved. “This honour recognises the time and hard work Dennis Novy has invested in ensuring that academic insights inform public policy,” he said. “We congratulate him on his success.”