Taiwan Innovation Exchange FLIP

Lead Research Organisation: Aberystwyth University
Department Name: IBERS

Abstract

To create impact from excellent science requires not only technical solutions but also mechanisms to bring products and processes to market. In this FLexible Interchange Programme (FLIP) project Professor Iain Donnison seeks to increase his knowledge of innovation management and innovation leadership at a world leading Centre for Innovation: the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Taiwan. The FLIP project will be to study beyond the development of new technologies to tackle problems and will focus on the innovative mechanisms to bring products to market and therefore span the notorious "valley of death" the barrier which exists between University science and its translated into successful business opportunities. There will also be wider benefits for his home Institution, Aberystwyth University and the wider UK bioscience community. His career to date has involved positions in academia and in the private sector and the FLIP project brings this expertise together at a time when Innovation is becoming more recognized as something that the UK needs to do more of and better. Science and technology are recognized as being important in playing a role in the stimulation of economic growth and job creation. New Innovation Campuses including at Aberystywth University are exploring mechanisms by which the UK can achieve greater economic benefits from its world leading bioscience.

Planned Impact

Outputs of the FLIP project will be:
1) Learning about how innovation is achieved in ITRI, Taiwan.
2) Manuscripts written on: 1) lessons learnt during innovation activities over the last five years including as Director of the BEACON Biorefining Centre; and 2) the role of plant phenomics in innovation.
In addition after the project I will seek to:
3) Apply knowledge learnt to the delivery of current and future projects that I lead or are involved with.
4) Impart knowledge to others in Aberystwyth University and the wider UK bioscience community on my return and over the coming years.
 
Description This research was to understand the international innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem and routes to translation of research. The FLIP award allowed engagement with academia, industry and government in an international environment from Asian and North American practitioners on methods of connecting public and private research environments. I am continuing to develop the understanding through practice during the developing Aberystwyth Innovation & Enterprise Campus and Interdisciplinary Research Centre for the Bioeconomy, and seeking to engage more widely as to how we develop regional expertise and build these into a national industrial strategy. Most recently this includes discussions on how industrial decarbonisation and negative emissions from agriculture can be considered together.
Exploitation Route My continued plan has been to continue to engage with the wider BBSRC family on innovation and locally with the business school to increase entrepreneurship skills in bio and agri sciences students. So far I have used my learning to engage with local, regional and national governments either directly or through consultation (e.g. the Welsh Science Adviser on future science strategy in Wales and BEIS on the Bioeconomy consultation) in seeking to achieve greater connection between academia and regional industrial strategy. Most recently this has fed into my role as a prosperity goal champion for the RSA in relation to the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and in work on developing value chains for conservation and green waste biomass in the "Re-Direct" and "Three C" Interreg NWE Projects involving academic and industrial partners in the UK and Europe to valorise these resources including as a feedstock for biochar production.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

 
Description Impact is still being created including through feeding into Innovation and Enterprise Campus's being established at Aberystwyth and elsewhere in the UK. Findings include greater understanding of the International Innovation ecosystem and increasing entrepreneurship in graduates to encourage greater numbers of start ups as well as working in industry, and also greater engagement between companies, HEIs/ Institutes and government. This is becoming more relevant with the development of industrial strategies across the UK. So far I have used my learning to engage with local, regional and national governments either directly or through consultation (e.g. the Welsh Science Adviser on future science strategy in Wales and BEIS on the Bioeconomy consultation) in seeking to achieve greater connection between academia and regional industrial strategy. Most recently this has fed into my role as a prosperity goal champion for the RSA in relation to the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and in the continuation of the BEACON Biorefining project and in work on developing value chains for conservation and green waste biomass in the "Re-Direct" and "Three C" Interreg NWE Projects involving academic and industrial partners in the UK and Europe to valorise these resources including as a feedstock for biochar production.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Construction,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic

 
Description Fair and equitable use of natural resources through development of Miscanthus as an industrial crop
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Impact Through our research and implementation of an international conservation policy, the United Nation's Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), we have achieved an impact toward the implementation of public policy at the global-scale for the conservation of genetic resources. The CBD entered into force on 29 December 1993 following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Rio "Earth Summit"). The Convention was inspired by the world community's growing commitment to sustainable development and represented a dramatic step toward the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. New crop breeding programmes are dependent on the collection and characterisation of diverse genetic resources. Importantly since the domestication of the staple crops, legally binding contracts including the CBD have been put in place to ensure that where genetic resources are collected from one country and commercially exploited elsewhere, the benefits of the exploitation are shared with the donor country. IBERS researchers pioneered the making of new Miscanthus collections and the negotiation of the necessary agreements in the absence of clear national legislation for the implementation of the access and benefit sharing arrangements under the CBD and ahead of the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing in 2011. IBERS scientists worked closely with Defra and partners in Asia to implement the CBD and access and benefit sharing Protocols through organising joint workshops, collaborative research and legal negotiations. For example an international Workshop on Green Chemistry and Biomass Energy which was jointly funded by the National Science Council of Taiwan and the BBSRC, was held at the National Cheng Kung University on 3 November. Aberystwyth University and National Cheng Kung University formally signed a memorandum of understanding at the workshop, the signing of which was presided over by the vice chancellor of the Cheng Kung University and the CEO of BBSRC. In May 2012, Taiwan was the first Asian country to sign a full access and benefit sharing agreement under the CBD framework with the UK, and this was followed by successful negotiations with South Korea with an agreement to comply with CBD in November 2011, negotiations for access and benefits sharing up to July 2013 and an official signing of access and benefits sharing in October 2013. On both occasions the UK was represented by BEAA in the negotiation. This has created one of the first examples for implementing Nagoya protocols in the UK and our partnering countries. Not only have IBERS scientists implemented two international agreements but their experience and knowledge of setting up bi- lateral access and benefit sharing agreements under the CBD framework is now also being used as a proven example for others to follow, helping to support government's approach to legislation in this area. This includes the UK government's approach to the proposed "Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (Nagoya Protocol): Union implementation and ratification", an EU-wide legislation to be submitted to the European Parliament which was voted on in committee on 4 July 2013. The main beneficiaries of this policy impact are therefore the UK government's agriculture policy legislation body (Defra), donor countries in Asia, commerce (only compliant germplasm can be commercially exploited in signatory countries) and the global society on the conservation of natural resources.
 
Description Steps to scaling up UK sustainable bioenergy supply a workshop held by the Centre of Ecology & Hydrology in London on behalf of the Climate Change Committee to support their report on the role of Biomass in a low-carbon economy.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/steps-to-scaling-up-uk-sustainable-bioenergy-supply-ceh/
 
Description BEACON+ Biorefing Centre East Wales funded through ERDF via Welsh European Funding Office
Amount £443,888 (GBP)
Funding ID 82163 
Organisation Welsh Assembly 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 12/2021
 
Description BEACON+ Biorefing Centre West Wales & the Valleys Extension funded through ERDF via Welsh European Funding Office
Amount £3,782,889 (GBP)
Funding ID 80851 
Organisation Welsh Assembly 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 12/2021
 
Description BEACON+ Biorefining Centre
Amount £8,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Department European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 07/2015 
End 12/2019
 
Description Interreg NWE; REgional Development and Integration of unused biomass wastes as REsources for Circular products and economic Transformation (RE-DIRECT)
Amount € 227,472 (EUR)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2019
 
Description Collaboration on resilience and drought tolerance in grasses in urban environments 
Organisation National Taiwan University
Country Taiwan, Province of China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project brings together grassland scientists, architects and landscape architects to increase the resilience of green infrastructures in the built environment in the UK and in Asia. The IBERS research team brings expertise on grass and legume resilience biology including phenomics and modelling.
Collaborator Contribution The National Taiwan University bring expertise on the benefiit of green and blue infrastructures in the built environment.
Impact This is a new collaboration which seeks to link groups, in the UK and Taiwan, on grass and legume genetics, phenomics and breeding, green infrastructures, landscape ecology and biodiversity, and innovation to tackle the global challenges of urbanisation and climate change through the use of nature-based solutions. Currently we are working on the use of grasses in a phytostabilisation project to reduce negative environmental impacts.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Welsh School of Architecture 
Organisation Cardiff University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project brings together grassland scientists, architects and landscape architects to increase the resilience of green infrastructures in the built environment in the UK and in Asia.
Collaborator Contribution The Welsh School of Architecture bring expertise on the modelling and design of green buildings and infrastructure including expertise in Asia and especially in Hong Kong.
Impact The project is ongoing and no outputs or outcomes have arisen yet.
Start Year 2018
 
Description BBC Wales Science Cafe: The Welsh Science Wishlist 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An interview for BBC Radio Wales Science Cafe. The programme was ahead of the Welsh Government Elections in May 2016 and was to articulate The Welsh Science Wishlist for the incoming government. Iain Donnison gave the interview on wishes for the future environmental policy.

Science votes
The Welsh Government believes that science in Wales is world class. And on this programme we frequently trumpet the pioneering research at our universities. But is enough being done to build a strong and successful scientific community? Many in Wales are concerned that we are failing on science education and in preparing for the digital future. In this special edition of Science Café scientists reveal, for the policy makers, their wish lists. And ahead of next month's elections, the political parties outline their scientific priorities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0776lxj
 
Description Industrial Decarbonisation Research & Innovation Centre (IDRIC) Ideas Factory workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Attended the Industrial Decarbonisation Research & Innovation Centre (IDRIC) Ideas Factory workshop at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh. Engaged with a number of industrial clusters on how urban and rural decarbonisation strategies can be linked up.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://idric.org/events/
 
Description Resilient green infrastructures and cities 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting with Taipei Representative Office in the UK including Representative Amb. David Yung-Lo Lin and Director of Science and Technology Division Prof Jiun-Huei Proty Wu on future cities and green infrastructure and UK-Taiwan opportunities for collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018