Research collaboration:
understanding the
challenges to cooperation
Stephen Flint
University of Manchester
European Univer...
UK research - productive
World shares according to Elsevier - International Comparative
Performance of the UK Research Bas...
International Vice-Chancellors’
Declaration to G8 leaders
• Take action to allow easier movement of
academics, researchers...
The largest single site university in the UK
40,000 students
11,000 Postgraduate
29,000 Undergraduate
9,000 International ...
Manchester’s Internationalisation track record
‘Patchy’: ranges from very strong to rather limited, across
different facul...
University of Manchester and FP7
• 377 projects covering all thematic areas - 6th in the FP7
league table among other UK u...
A personal view
EU FP5 Energie award, 2001-04

This cemented long term links between the
partners (TU
Delft, Schlumberger,...
Example: Manchester Collaborations with Brazil (2012-13)

Faculty visit in Nov 2012 (Petrobras Research Centre)

Mancheste...
South American Biomass Burning Analysis (SAMBBA)
A Brazil-UK International Collaborative Experiment
Collaborative Research Projects
-genuine partnerships with sharing
of responsibilities and outputs
integral role of indust...
Example: Manchester’s
collaboration with business
• Several blue chip strategic alliances & others in
negotiation
• Over 1...
Issues and problems:
experience from Manchester

Different University structures and bureaucracies
(administrative time fr...
Possible discussion points

How do we increase the amount of
collaboration across Europe?
How do we ensure quality and wor...
Thank you
stephen.flint@manchester.ac.uk
Specific Issues with FP7
• Frequent changes to EC admin processes has meant that
training has been on-going in FP7 engagem...
Research Collaboration:understanding the challenges to cooperation/FP7 - Professor Stephen Flint,  Associate Dean for Inte...
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Research Collaboration:understanding the challenges to cooperation/FP7 - Professor Stephen Flint, Associate Dean for Internationalisation, University of Manchester

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Research Collaboration:understanding the challenges to cooperation/FP7 - Professor Stephen Flint, Associate Dean for Internationalisation, University of Manchester

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Research Collaboration:understanding the challenges to cooperation/FP7 - Professor Stephen Flint, Associate Dean for Internationalisation, University of Manchester

  1. 1. Research collaboration: understanding the challenges to cooperation Stephen Flint University of Manchester European University cooperation in the era of globalisation London, November 19th 2013
  2. 2. UK research - productive World shares according to Elsevier - International Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base – 2011 16.00% 14.00% 14.00% 12.00% 10.90% 9.40% 10.00% 8.00% 6.40% 6.00% 4.20% 4.00% 3.00% 2.20% 2.00% 0.00% 0.90%
  3. 3. International Vice-Chancellors’ Declaration to G8 leaders • Take action to allow easier movement of academics, researchers and university students between states • Invest more in universities to ensure economic growth • Simplify and open-up the international patent infrastructure to allow greater innovation from research • Establish a new Global Institution that identifies and promotes best-practice in university-business relations across member nations and beyond
  4. 4. The largest single site university in the UK 40,000 students 11,000 Postgraduate 29,000 Undergraduate 9,000 International students 25 Nobel prize winners incl. Physics prize in 2010
  5. 5. Manchester’s Internationalisation track record ‘Patchy’: ranges from very strong to rather limited, across different faculties Two Examples: Manchester Business School Worldwide (MBSW) - Offices in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Miami, Sao Paulo - Blended learning MBA and other programmes Physics -Large presence at CERN (Geneva) and Fermi Lab (Chicago) -Site of Project Office for the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope
  6. 6. University of Manchester and FP7 • 377 projects covering all thematic areas - 6th in the FP7 league table among other UK universities • UoM FP7 success rate is 29% • Established consortia with strong leadership and management secured multiple successes and are well placed to influence Commission decisions for Horizon 2020 • ERC Synergy award with Cambridge and Lancaster Universities • FET Flagship projects in Graphene and the Human Brain • Marie Curie Initial Training Networks and collaboration with similar projects/groups/institutions across Europe • Taken advantage of opening of the programme to partners in third countries such as the US, China and South America
  7. 7. A personal view EU FP5 Energie award, 2001-04 This cemented long term links between the partners (TU Delft, Schlumberger, Statoil, Manchester) that are still in place Has led to many PhDs and a mix of government and industry funding for 10 years after end of project
  8. 8. Example: Manchester Collaborations with Brazil (2012-13) Faculty visit in Nov 2012 (Petrobras Research Centre) Manchester and USP joint geological fieldwork Manchester and FAPESP sign £0.5M research collaboration agreement
  9. 9. South American Biomass Burning Analysis (SAMBBA) A Brazil-UK International Collaborative Experiment
  10. 10. Collaborative Research Projects -genuine partnerships with sharing of responsibilities and outputs integral role of industry partner in helping to define the research and providing core funding University of Manchester Co-Investigators Co-supervision of PGRs Co-supervision of Post-Docs Country-based Industry partner Core funding and scientific/engineering input Partner Institution
  11. 11. Example: Manchester’s collaboration with business • Several blue chip strategic alliances & others in negotiation • Over 175 industrial partners • Examples of strategic partnership – Tesco Sustainable Consumption Institute: £25m – National Grid Power Systems Research Centre: £4m – Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre: £2m • Links with over 300 companies Example $100 million BP International Centre for Advanced Materials – Manchester Hub with Cambridge, Imperial College and Illinois Urbana as spokes
  12. 12. Issues and problems: experience from Manchester Different University structures and bureaucracies (administrative time frames, strikes, capacity, etc.) Timeframes Helps to have a common driver (funding opportunity or common natural/social research issue(s) Consolidating research collaborations so that they operate above the level of individual academics and survive more than one grant/PhD cycle
  13. 13. Possible discussion points How do we increase the amount of collaboration across Europe? How do we ensure quality and world relevance of this collaboration? What are the ‘blockers’? Next steps?
  14. 14. Thank you stephen.flint@manchester.ac.uk
  15. 15. Specific Issues with FP7 • Frequent changes to EC admin processes has meant that training has been on-going in FP7 engagement, especially with introduction of new electronic systems • Issues with SME involvement towards the end of the programme did cause problems especially when the actual percentage SME involvement was quoted specifically in the call text – on occasion this did lead to less than ideal consortia being developed as proposals were built around securing this percentage involvement - sometimes at the expense of the quality of the project as a whole.

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