EPSRC’s Strategic Plan 2010 is an ambitious plan which sets out clear goals to increase the number of world-leading scientists and engineers working in the UK. This new Strategic Plan builds on the EPSRC´s previous Strategic Plan and on the current Delivery Plan (2008-2011), both of which articulated the approaches to meeting the challenges set out in the government’s 2004 Science and Innovation Investment Framework.
The three main goals of the new Strategic Plan 2010 are
- delivering impact
- shaping capability
- developing leaders.
The EPSRC describes the new Strategic Plan as follows:
"EPSRC funds long-term research which will continue to have positive impacts over the next 10 to 50 years. We are not shifting funds away from long-term research towards more applied research. We will continue to fund long-term, curiosity-driven research in all our programmes. By working closely with our partners in universities we aim to make sure that this research has the maximum impact for the health, prosperity and sustainability of the UK, as early as possible. To do this we will make sure that strong partnerships and pathways are embedded across the UK research landscape to accelerate the take-up and development of research. We will also increase the visibility of the research we have funded so that business and government can find the partners and results they need.
EPSRC will play a more active role in shaping the research base to ensure it delivers high quality research for the UK, now and in the future. Recognising the long-term strategic challenges the UK faces, we will be increasing the proportion of resource in areas such as energy security and high-value manufacturing. But we will also make sure that the research base retains the capability to react to future challenges and create new opportunities."
EPSRC Delivery Plan 2008-11
The plans respond to the challenges facing society and the economy, and include encouraging ambitious programmes of research, a number of priority research themes and focusing on sustainability and greater economic impact.
Priority Research Themes
- Energy – bringing together all aspects of energy-related research and training, including working with the new Energy Technologies Institute.
- Digital economy – increasing the impact of ICT in transforming how business, government and society operate.
- Nanoscience through engineering to application – exploiting previous investments to pull basic research through to application through a grand challenge approach.
- Towards next-generation healthcare – working with relevant partners to improve the pull-through of research results to clinical products and practice.
- A healthy science and engineering base - supporting core engineering and physical sciences research activities, resulting in a vibrant research capacity that delivers outputs for science and the economy.
- Securing the future supply of people - supporting the next generation of world-class researchers and research leaders.
Greater Economic Impact
- Towards better exploitation – accelerating exploitation of research results through, for example, partnership with the Technology Strategy Board, increasing business-focused skills, and improving the flow of knowledge and people between academic and industry.