Research support on offer to Welsh businesses

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COMPANY owners across Wales are being offered the chance to get help with specialist business research.

Through KESS II, partnering the University of South Wales (USW), businesses in the West Wales and the Valleys Convergence Area - which covers Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen - can benefit from targeted help from an MRes (Master of Research) student.

Through the scheme, the student will take up a placement with a company to carry out research that will benefit the business, such as testing claims, perceptions or experiences regarding their product, brand or service.

The students will receive a £11.2k stipend to finance the study, while the business partners will contribute between £3.5k and £4.5k to the running costs of the project. The MRes scholarships are part of the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS II) partnership, which is funded through the European Social Fund (ESF).

A USW spokesman said: “Companies which have previously been involved in the project have really valued the link with USW, and this has often led to other collaborations.

Companies have reported an excellent return on their investment, or have felt its impact, long before the research results are published, and KESS can help to position the organisation as a leader in their market.

“It is a great option for those who wish to investigate early stage business concepts, and many partners view an MRes project as a stepping stone for more intensive research and/or product development.”

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

USW currently has a call for projects open, with a deadline for applications of noon on Wednesday, February 15, to kess@southwales.ac.uk. For full details, contact clare.naylor@southwales.ac.uk or kess@southwales.ac.uk

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