Dear AURIL members and colleagues
The past two years have seen substantial change for the sector, the UK economy, and indeed for AURIL. As we head into 2017, the results of this change will start to become more apparent – the UK’s future relationship with the EU, the development of a new industrial strategy for the UK, the set-up of UKRI, the TEF, the introduction of the new apprenticeship levy for businesses, to name just a few, are all areas where the impact will be felt by industry and universities alike. But within this changing environment, the role of knowledge exchange in helping businesses and other organisations benefit from the richness of university ideas and expertise so that they can be prepared for the future, remains as important as ever.
AURIL needs to be prepared for the future too. As announced at our annual conference in Edinburgh last October, we have taken the decision working closely with the board of PraxisUnico, to consult on and begin discussions about formation of a completely new, single organisation to represent the knowledge exchange profession in the UK. The response to the consultation was overwhelmingly in favour of taking those discussions forward, and work continues in earnest to develop the strategic plan for the new organisation which we hope will be completed by the middle of this year. A working group, chaired by former AURIL Chair Dave Bembo (Cardiff University) with representatives from both AURIL and PraxisUnico, has been meeting regularly to work out the further details and take into account the many constructive views and consultation responses made by our members.
However, whilst this important work is underway it is still very much business as usual for AURIL. Working with the other Council members we will continue to lobby and advocate on your behalf, and provide practical support for members’ professional development through our regional networking meetings and AIMS (AURIL’s mentoring scheme). Please do not hesitate to contact me, Alasdair Cameron - AURIL’s Executive Director, or any of the AURIL Council members, if you have any ideas, issues, or thoughts to share where AURIL can assist you. AURIL is an association run for its members and we would be delighted to hear from you.