press release
Published: 24 June 2021

University of Surrey joins renowned networks to strengthen its impact on research and policy

The University of Surrey is expanding its partnerships by joining two renowned networks – Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN) and A Social sciences Platform for Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Transformation (ASPECT). 

UPEN is a consortium of more than 60 UK universities working together to increase the public policy impact of their research. By joining UPEN, Surrey will strengthen its engagement with policymakers – providing greater coherence, coordination and interactions with the UK’s Parliament and the British government.  

ASPECT, A Social sciences Platform for Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Transformation, is a growing network of organisations working together to support innovation, entrepreneurship and research commercialisation in the social sciences. 

The commercialisation pipeline for STEM research is well established; however, the benefits and profile of research commercialisation within the social sciences are less well known. The University of Surrey is already a recipient of Impact Accelerator funding from the Economic and Social Research Council to help to bridge the gap between the findings of social science research and their uptake by businesses and policymakers. As a member of ASPECT, Surrey will connect with universities, businesses, academics and industry leaders to turn ideas into commercial solutions and solve pressing social challenges. This includes funding projects to test ideas, pilot new approaches and develop toolkits to share insights and learnings with the broader community.   

Professor David Sampson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation at the University of Surrey, said: “I am delighted that the University of Surrey is joining two leading networks, UPEN and ASPECT. These new partnerships will help capitalise on our cutting-edge social sciences research and innovation and strengthen our relationships with other leading universities throughout the UK. These partnerships will leverage our collective power to engage with policy makers and support the government’s ambitious policy agenda post-Brexit to address the myriad issues of our times.” 

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