Growing Value Wales

Growing Value Wales
Growing value Wales report


What is the Growing Value Wales Task Force?

The Growing Value Wales Task Force brings together key individuals from the private and higher education sectors to focus on practical ways of harnessing the talent being developed in our universities and our strength in ground-breaking research and development for the benefit of the nation’s economy. The Task Force is co-chaired by Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University and Dr Drew Nelson, President and Chief Executive Office, IQE PLC. Its work is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council in Wales.

Why the Growing Value Wales Task Force?

Research, development and innovation are widely recognised as vitally important for the growth and prosperity of the economy. In Wales, for much of the past 20 years, innovation and technology have been close to the heart of economic development policy and as a result, Wales has developed a rich landscape of innovation activities, programmes and supporting organisations, including its universities and anchor companies. Despite this, key economic and innovation indicators show that Wales suffers from persistent structural deficiencies and poor economic performance and lags behind competitors at UK and European level.

The challenge set by the NCUB Growing Value Wales Task Force was to explore the rapidly changing world of university-business interaction in Wales and to identify opportunities and threats to collaboration.

Our role

The Task Force has met 4 times since its launch in June 2016 and has helped to shape the outputs and final recommendations.


In early 2017, a team, led by Professor Kevin Morgan, Professor of Governance and Development at Cardiff University and consisting of Dr Adrian Healy, Research Associate, Cardiff University, Professor Robert Huggins, Professor of Economic Geography, at Cardiff University and Meirion Thomas, Penbryn Consulting were commissioned by the Task Force to undertake research on its behalf. The report explored the rapidly changing world of university – business interaction in Wales. It identified the opportunities and threats to collaboration and highlighted clusters of excellence, or ‘hot spots’, in the Welsh innovation landscape with regard to interaction.

The report identified synergies between its recommendations and the Welsh Government’s Be the Spark initiative and launched at the first Be the Spark event on the 28th June in Cardiff with Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure.

Read the BBC's coverage of the report here

Professor Kevin Morgan on 'Finding and funding innovation ‘hot spots’ to boost Welsh economy'

Professor Maria Hinfelaar on 'Working across borders to link skills and innovation to local growth plans'Working across borders to link skills and innovation to local growth plans'.

Making the Connection: A New National Innovation Compact for Wales - final report of the Growing Value Wales Task Force.





Full report (October 2017)




Summary report (June 2017)





Who are involved?

The Task Force is co-chaired by Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University and Dr Drew Nelson, President and Chief Executive Office, IQE PLC.

Project Board

Dr Drew Nelson (left) Professor Colin Riordan (right) 

Drew VC

Professor John Hughes, Vice-Chancellor, Bangor University

Dr Fraser Logue, Vice President and Managing Director, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Products Ltd

Dr David Docherty, CEO, National Centre for Universities and Business

Linda Phillips, Independent Business Consultant

Joanna Hodgson, Industries and Business Development, Technical Leader, Europe & UK, IBM

Steering Group

Professor Cara Aitchison, Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Anne Dixon, Chief Operating Officer, Innovate UK

Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director, BBC Wales

Joanna Foster, UK Government & Business Relations Leader, GE Aviation

Professor Maria Hineflaar, Vice-Chancellor, Glyndwr University

Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David

David Jones, Chair, Deeside Enterprise Zone

Liz Jones, Partner, Deloitte

Janet Jones, Chair, Welsh Policy Unit, Federation of Small Businesses

Ron Jones, Founder & Executive Chairman, Tinopolis Group

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Pro Vice Chancellor, Swansea University

Professor Julie Lydon, Vice-Chancellor, University of South Wales

Ian Nellist, Gwynedd Branch Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses

Dr Penny Owen, Interim Executive Chair, Life Sciences Hub Wales

Ian Risk, Head of EADS Innovation Works UK, Airbus

Ashley Rogers, Chair, North Wales Business Council

Rob Rolley, R&D Director, General Dynamics UK

David Rosser, Director of Innovation, Welsh Government

Matthew Taylor, Chair, Welsh Industrial Liaison Officers

Dr Alyson Thomas, Head of Research, Innovation and Engagement, HEFCW

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor, Aberystwyth University

Iwan Trefor Jones, Corporate Director, North Wales Economic Ambition Board

Dr David Williams, Chief Executive, Eco2

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Director, Msparc

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