AURIL2017 Annual Conference
5th and 6th October 2017


Bristol Marriott Royal
College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TA 

Contact: Fiona Lees
  0141 548 4754

AURIL North West Network - 5 April 2017 - Event Report

AURIL NW Networking Meeting – Event Report
Date: Wednesday, 5th April 2017

18 representatives from across 7 North West Universities were hosted by Lancaster University, to network and discuss EU Funding – post BREXIT, how to secure and implement ESIF funds, a key theme identified at the last AURIL networking meeting.

ERDF: Developing New Partnerships Steve Fish from Lancaster University welcomed people to the Campus and gave an overview of Lancaster University ERDF projects.  Steve’s key message raised awareness of both the short term benefits of ERDF projects results and outputs but also raised awareness of the longer term relationship building benefits that engagement with ERDF funded businesses has led to for Lancaster University.  Click on this link to see the presentation.

Discussion after the presentation included the importance of recording both the short and longer term impact to influence post-BREXIT regional funding and to raise awareness of the potential negative impact that a gap in funding would lead to.

GOOD PRACTICE: “Top 10 things to get right when setting up an ESIF project”  The main presentation was from Neil Clatworthy, Director of the North West Universities European Unit (NWUEU).  Neil’s presentation covered a list of top tips for best practice to securing and implementing ESIF funds:

  1. Read the call (and the application forms)!
  2. What do you want to do / will do regardless of extra funding?
  3. How and where does the project add value to your institution?
  4. Is there real & demonstrable market demand (and failure)?
  5. Increasingly funding streams seek ‘business-led’ or shaped applications.
  6. Consider but choose partners carefully –what do they add to the project?
  7. Consider the bid’s target audience i.e. who will read the bid?
  8. What does the project do in simple terms?
  9. Engage your management team early.
  10. Be realistic and mindful of timescales.
  11. Be prepared to walk away!


FINAL TIP: If your funder or LEP uses the term “simplification” … don’t believe them!

Click on this link to see the presentation.

Discussion after the presentation included:  Moving forward how will regional funding be affected in the transition from European to UK funding? What will the priorities be? What would happen in the event of a “bridging” period before UK funding emerges?  The International dimension and link to higher level skills were considered as key, including links to skills profile, and how this will impact on the productivity gap.  There was a recommendation that Universities resist losing the regional business engagement structures and skills that exist in the workforce and those that do will be well positioned to take advantage of the anticipated new funding.

AURIL and PraxisUnico – creation of NEWORG update

  • ‘This new organisation will be more effective for our members, providing pooled resources and a single voice representing the sector.’
  • An interim board in place from 1st April 2017 until 31st December 2017.
  • Several members were keen to have follow up conversations considering the role of NEWORG and will be contacted.

Report Authors:

Sarah Stables
Enterprise and Business Development Lead
University of Cumbria 
Steve Hillier
Senior Impact and Business Development Manager
University of Liverpool