The Royal Society visited WMG on 23 September 2013 to hold a consultation seminar with subject experts from WMG and Jaguar Land Rover on the theme of promoting greater collaboration between industry and academia.
Professor Anthony Cheetham FRS, Treasurer and Vice-President of the Royal Society, said:
WMG is truly a model for excellence in university-industry partnerships."
The industrial seminar, held in conjunction with Jaguar Land Rover, discussed two main issues of importance: removing barriers to academic-industrial collaboration and developing research challenges which will help to re-energise UK engineering industries.
The seminar produced significant agreement between academic and industrial delegates that the UK has real strengths that it can build on. They praised WMG’s partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Steel and others, as an outstanding model of how research excellence can be combined with improved industrial competitiveness. The main areas of mutual concern were addressing the current shortage of skilled engineers in the UK and the increasing need to attract the brightest and the best into engineering at all levels.
The afternoon session highlighted some of the research challenges such as light-weighting, energy efficiency and reduced emissions, being faced by many sectors. The research challenges being identified by industry are intellectually challenging and urgent. The WMG and Jaguar Land Rover example showed how research can be focussed to address some of these great research challenges.
The key message from the day was that “it is easy to be interesting, but hard to be useful” – WMG is all about academic excellence with industrial impact.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya said:
We were very pleased to host, with Jaguar Land Rover, this consultation seminar which will help the Royal Society in moving forward with promoting academic industry collaboration.”
The delegates also undertook a tour of WMG's research facilities during their visit, seeing areas of research including composites, laser welding, energy innovation and nanocomposites.
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