Envision DTP has created a 6 month Innovation Fellow position to initiate activities between environment research and business enterprise across a range of sectors. Dr Vincent Walsh was appointed as Innovation Fellow, based at Lancaster University. The Innovation Fellow role has allowed the time needed to:
- Work directly with the PhD practitioners to enhance their commercial opportunities.
- Investigate new opportunities for internships for PhD practitioners.
- Start initial conversations with leading international businesses with the aim to enable a range of high profile internships programmes and potential longer projects.
Initial conversations with PhD practitioners
Dr Vincent Walsh met with all PhD practitioners across the cohort of universities to discuss their present opportunities and future aspirations within the environmental sector. The conversations highlighted that 80% of the PhD practitioners saw the importance of developing rich relationships with businesses and would like to actively take part in activities in relation to their research focus. The practitioners had a clear understanding that this would support and prepare them for a career after the PhD programme, and help to develop their commercial networks.
Initial conversations with international businesses
Envision DTP wishes to develop and maintain rich relationships with businesses and the feedback from PhD practitioners highlighted their need to be more integrated into commercial activities throughout their research life. This meant it was necessary to begin conversations with a range of new potential commercial partners. The conversations with senior managers at the businesses have been truly diverse and exciting, showing great potential for future collaborations, including internships and longer-term projects with Envision. Below is the list of organisations the Innovation Fellow has begun initial conversations with:
- The Cooperative Group
- Castrol Innovations
- Tech City
- Green Alliance
- Bird & Bird
- The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC)
- Cabinet Office
The initial conversations with the businesses have highlighted the potential for a range of new and exciting internships with the following organisations: Tech City, Green Alliance, Bird & Bird and the Cabinet Office.
Tech City will work with Envision to connect with 300 leading technology companies across the UK to enable high end internships for our PhD practitioners.
Green Alliance promotes sustainable development by ensuring that the environment is at the heart of decision-making and will develop a range of internship with our PhD practitioners.
Bird & Bird
Bird & Bird is an international law firm with 28 offices across Europe. With a strong & growing environmental sector, we are investigating the potential of environmental research focus internships for PhD practitioners.
The government has launched a new online tool, the Innovation Launch Pad to enable small businesses to pitch their ideas on how they could do the business of government more efficiently. One of our students will complete three month internships with the Cabinet Office.
Environmental Infrastructure for Smart City Growth.
The Innovation Fellow conversation with leading technology companies has highlighted the potential for a range of newly focused projects with Envision DTP. Leading technology companies are increasingly investigating new technologies to support the growth of sustainable, resilience and adaptive infrastructure for smart city growth and biosphere stewardship. AECOM, Google and Castrol Innovations want to investigate the opportunity to collaborate with the Envision DTP on Environmental Infrastructure for Smart City Growth.