Innovation vision and strategy

NERC has a key role in improving ways that the knowledge, data, capabilities and skills generated by discovery (‘blue-skies’ research) and more directed research can be captured, applied, accessed and translated for commercial and societal benefit.

Through working with the Innovation Advisory Board, NERC has set out a clear vision for innovation:

To enhance the impact of NERC’s research investments by transforming the knowledge, data, capabilities and skills of our science community into new value-adding approaches, tools and solutions.

Achieving the vision

To achieve our vision, we propose three critical success factors for innovation in NERC to measure progress, and a description of how we will work with the research and business communities to deliver our objectives.

Skills, capabilities and data assets of the NERC science community are visible, relevant and accessible

The NERC science community’s skills, capabilities and data assets must be made visible, relevant and accessible to potential beneficiaries of new value-adding approaches, tools and solutions by using communication, funding and partnership models that work for them.

Co-design, co-development and co-delivery of research and innovation investments from the outset

Relevance to user sectors must be a principle of the development of NERC-directed research activities, with commissioners and researchers thinking from the outset about the needs of potential beneficiaries to foster the practice of co-design, co-development and co-delivery.

Business engagement is culturally normal in NERC and the research communities it funds

NERC must continue to address barriers to business engagement, ensuring that it becomes culturally normal in NERC and the research communities it funds.

How we will achieve this

To develop and grow, NERC will focus on developing four ‘pillars for innovation’:

  • pillar one: become the innovation partner of choice for environmental science and system challenges
  • pillar two: improve the uptake of NERC research into real world solutions
  • pillar three: realise the benefits from research assets and infrastructure
  • pillar four: drive international collaboration and innovation

These will be delivered using an approach of co-design and delivery with our academic community and partners across NERC’s innovation priority areas. We will develop our partnerships to become a key part of the UK innovation ecosystem, helping to drive the rapid and effective translation of NERC’s research into tangible products, processes and services.

Last updated: 7 December 2023

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