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Research and Innovation Strategy 2030

Martin Steggall, Pro Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

At USW, research and innovation is everyone’s business. Our vision is clear and confident – we want to maintain and develop our internationally excellent research capabilities and focus on solutions to problems impacting society and the economy. 

The Research and Innovation Strategy will guide our focus up until 2030, encompassing the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) cycle. This will build on our successes from the previous REF in 2021, where we had the fourth most impactful research in Wales and where two thirds of our outputs were rated internationally excellent and/or world leading. 

By 2030, our multidisciplinary research teams will be strengthening their collaborations with industry, communities, and organisations to make a positive difference to lives. 

We will work in partnership with key stakeholders and industries to address global challenges, acting as catalysts for wider influence and support. We will achieve this by focusing our programmes of work around four accelerator areas: Creative Innovation; Crime, Security and Justice; Health and Wellbeing, and Sustainable Environment; and align our activities with the seven wellbeing goals articulated in the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act, 2015. 

Our vibrant research will be co-designed and co-produced with industry and our communities, and firmly embedded in our curricula, so that our students will be helping to solve the important problems identified by employers and stakeholders.

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Our ambitions are to:

  • Be known for research-informed, research-led teaching and learning 
  • Have 75% of our research impact rated as world-leading 
  • Have inter/multidisciplinary research and innovation activity by design 
  • Create and maintain sustainable research and innovation groups (RIGs) that are aligned with the University accelerator areas 
  • Be grouped around the United Nations / UK, Welsh, and EU Governments’ strategic intent, policy, and areas for investment and future funding, and actively contribute to The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 
  • Increase HE Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) income 
  • Ensure that everyone in USW, whether research active or not, reflect the value that research and innovation brings to our students, staff, and stakeholders 
  • Demonstrably contribute to challenge-based learning and teaching and knowledge transfer activities 
  • Develop our staff through participation in development and leadership schemes 
  • Provide a nurturing and sustainable environment for research students


Research at USW