Policy Forum for Wales

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7538736244

Next steps for science and innovation policy in Wales

Morning, Wednesday, 29th April 2020


This conference focuses on the next steps for science and innovation policy in Wales.

Areas for discussion include:

  • international partnerships;
  • attracting and developing talent;
  • funding; and
  • how innovation can be further integrated into Wales’s economic strategy.


There will be keynote contributions from:

  • Professor Peter Halligan, Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales;
  • Alyson Thomas, Director, Policy and Funding, HEFCW; and
  • Mark Gillan, Chief Technology Officer, Innovate UK.

Further confirmed speakers include: Sandra Busby, Welsh Contact Centre Forum and Welsh Data Science Graduate Programme; Professor Diana Huffaker, Cardiff University; Tamsin Mann, Praxis Auril; Professor Kathryn Monk, Natural Resources Wales and Swansea University; David Notley, Impact Innovation & Growth Service and Innovation Advisory Council for Wales; Martin Pollard, Learned Society of Wales; Kieron Rees, Universities Wales and Professor David Thomas, Bangor University.

The context for discussion

The conference is being held at a crucial time with a number of Wales and UK-wide policy developments taking place - including:

  • The creation of a new funding body for Welsh Higher and Further education, the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research;
  • HEFCW having set out its vision for research and innovation and now undertaking its implementation;
  • Negotiations beginning over the UK’s future relationship with the EU, including involvement in science programmes, as well as the introduction of a new UK immigration system; and
  • The UK government goal of increasing R&D spending as a proportion of GDP to 2.4% by 2027, including significant increases in public finance available to HEIs and R&D-intensive organisations in the private, public, and third sectors.

It also follows the National Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee’s report, which:

The agenda

  • Priorities for developing the talent pipeline for science and technology in Wales;
  • Attracting and developing the skills and workforce to meet the needs of Welsh science;
  • The future for Wales in international science partnerships post-Brexit;
  • The HEFCW vision for research - and what is required to make it a reality;
  • Funding Welsh science and innovation - increasing the share of UK-level funds, attracting private inward investment, and encouraging greater R&D spend by businesses in Wales;
  • Wales and emerging technologies - supporting knowledge exchange and commercialisation; and
  • How can R&D drive growth in the Welsh economy - supporting the green economy, coordinating industrial strategy, improving university-business collaboration, and priorities for IP management.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

Policy Forum for Wales conferences typically attract strong interest from policymakers. This seminar will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials and others who have reserved places from: the National Assembly for Wales; the Welsh Government; the Development Bank of Wales; Estyn; Health and Care Research Wales; the Welsh European Funding OfficeUKRI; the Food Standards Agency; the Intellectual Property Office; and BEIS.

Keynote Speaker

Professor Peter Halligan

Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales

Keynote Speakers

Professor Peter Halligan

Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales

Alyson Thomas

Director, Policy and Funding, HEFCW

Mark Gillan

Chief Technology Officer, Innovate UK


Tamsin Mann

Head of Policy, Praxis Auril

Professor Diana Huffaker

Sêr Cymru Chair, Advanced Engineering and Materials and Scientific Director, Institute for Compound Semiconductors, School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University

Professor Kathryn Monk

Group Manager for Integrated Evidence, Natural Resources Wales, and Honorary Professor, Research Impact, Swansea University

Kieron Rees

Head of Policy and External Affairs, Universities Wales

Steve Yianni

Vice President, Association for Innovation, Research and Technology Organisations

Professor David Thomas

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Impact, former Director, Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon Energy and the Environment and Established Chair, Marine Biology, Bangor University

David Notley

Chief Executive, Impact Innovation & Growth Service and Co-Chair, Innovation Advisory Council for Wales

Martin Pollard

Chief Executive, Learned Society of Wales

Sandra Busby

Managing Director, Welsh Contact Centre Forum and Lead, Welsh Data Science Graduate Programme

Berwyn Davies

Head of Office, Welsh Higher Education Brussels