Strategic Insight Programme (SIP)

The Strategic Insight Programme (SIP), funded by HEFCW provides funding for short term placements for industry and Higher Education (HE) and Further Education (FE) institutions in the South East Wales region to work together collaboratively.

sip large

About the Programme

SIP is a HEFCW funded programme encouraging innovation and facilitating interaction between HE, FE and industry partners.

It allows partners to establish strategic links with one another. This is facilitated through funding for short term placement opportunities aimed at developing new cross-sector relationships, encouraging the development of strategically beneficial collaborative projects in a  supportive environment. 

The criteria/focus of the programme is around:

  • Collaborative Research & Development
  • Contract Research & Development
  • Shared Consultancy Services
  • Access to Facilities & Equipment
  • Curriculum Development
  • Student/Employer Engagement 
  • Skills, High-level Training & Work Based Learning 

The aims of the Programme are to:

  • Build capacity to establish strategic links between academia and industry.
  • Encourage development of strategically beneficial and regionally significant collaborative relationships and projects.
  • Contribute to graduate employability and curriculum development.
  • Provide funding for short-term placements of staff from academic institutions in the South East Wales region into external organisations which can lead to productive, long-term relationships.
  • Provide a means of facilitating an ‘opportunity’ through a funded scheme – potentially formalising your relationship at an earlier stage.

Funded Programmes for 2019

reverse sip 2
classic sip 2

There are three main strands within the programme where engagement and collaboration work could take place, with 40 SIPs available for each Strand. A maximum of 50 hours engagement work is available with funding of up to £2,500 to the partner undertaking the placement. The placement can be undertaken in one block or split the hours to suit your commitments.

The Open University in Wales are working across all strands to map part time, flexible and distance learning opportunities and gaps, for employers and all age learners.

A cross-cutting theme for SIP applications is Digital and Digital Futures. It is important to consider how your work/placement embraces and addresses this theme.   

Previous success and evaluation

The previous programme took place between 2011 and 2015 resulting in:

  •      690 placements were undertaken with nine partners with 79% saying their collaborative partnership would not have happened without SIP. 
  •      Over 100 placements undertaken received follow on funding which overall generated an estimated income of £12m. 
  •       77 PhD/Master opportunities identified across HE institutions. 
  •       84% of external organisations had a better understanding of services and resources in HE. 
  •       99% of external industries would engage with HE again in the future.

"The SIP was a great way to increase knowledge in my industry…the resulting partnership is a great way to combine University resources and business meaning possible employment opportunities for students, and increased business success" - Company Host

“It’s been an excellent way to start engagement with external organisations and I’ve seen many junior staff get their research start through it. Nice to see a grant programme with simple clear aims and low bureaucracy.”- HEI Staff


Eligibility and next steps

Your placement needs to be for new work and not in addition to work or for work that has already taken place. It cannot be used for curriculum/module development or consultancy but may be used to inform curriculum development.

We are happy to work with you and provide any help throughout your SIP application process. To request an application form or if you would like more information or to have a discussion regarding SIPs, please do not hesitate to contact the SIP Manager:
01443 654047

Proudly working with: