Our Associate Partner event, held on the 7th January 2015 at the Victoria Rooms in Bristol,marked the first concrete step towards establishing strong relationships between GW4+ DTP research and its end-users.
Bringing together our new cohort of students and 16 of our 24 Associate Partners from the worlds of industry, policy and legislation, environmental research and public engagement, the event set the framework for defining future collaborations, allowing the students and Associate Partners to familiarise themselves with each other’s work and to explore synergies.
Participants received an overview of the DTP programme and opportunities for engagement with Associate Partners through the development of joint PhD proposals and student workplace secondments and was followed by presentations from researchers
and Associate Partners on their respective work and organisations. Students and Associate Partners were then encouraged to network, with a student’s poster session showcasing their research objectives, and Associate Partner stands for the students to discover the work of each of our attending partner organisations.
To further support these efforts towards increased collaboration between research and end-users, students then undertook two days of training in innovation. Students were split into teams over the two days spanning the 10 DTP research partners and students were equipped with starter skills in effective teamwork, problem-solving communication, project management, market research and idea generation. The training culminated with teams putting forward an innovative concept to the other students, and an offer from the DTP to provide support for the teams to put themselves forward for the 2015 NERC Environment Young Entrepreneurs Scheme business plan competition.