Strategic Insight Programme (SIP)

The Strategic Insight Programme (SIP) was funded by HEFCW and was delivered as part of the wider project, Partnership for Innovation in Education (PIE). 

SIP provided 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.  

PIE logo

About the Programme

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

It allowed partners to establish links with one another which was 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 project was led by the University of South Wales (USW), has facilitated more than 60 workshops and more than 100 placements between HE/FE staff and industry over the last 18 months.  

The workshops and placements have developed new cross-sector relationships, encouraged the development of strategically beneficial joint projects, and supported graduate employability and curriculum development. 

The aims of the Programme were 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.

The criteria/focus of the programme was 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 

success and evaluation

Outcomes following workshops and SIPs include:

  • Enhanced engagement between HE/FE and industry  
  • Student placement opportunities with industry partners 
  • Further research and development grant applications applied for 
  • Development of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between HE/FE and industry partners to enhance collaborative relationship 
  • Informed curriculum based on industry feedback from SIPs and workshop

On 11th March 2020, we held a summative event at Cardiff City Stadium to showcase the findings and outcomes of both SIPs and workshops through strand presentation and interactive display stands.  

As a result of the programme, 104 placements were undertaken and 66 HE/FE and industry workshops delivered.  The summative event brought together representation from all HE/FE institutions as well as a range of external organisations. The event involved strand presentations from the educational institutions and the industry partners involved, a facilitated FE panel and an exhibition space for networking and to demonstrate the success of the programme. 

Below is a selection of the case studies from both SIPs and workshops that highlight the positive outcomes and collaboration opportunities: 

"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


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