WP8 Research Development, Engagement and Impact

Led by: Prof Hywel R Thomas


The activities described in this work package focus on the coordination of the matters of research development, engagement and impact for the FLEXIS operation as a whole.  As a result, they are equally relevant to the East Wales operation described in this business plan as well as to the complementary West Wales and the Valleys operation described separately.


A focused and dedicated approach to the research development that is needed during the life of the operation. Activities range from research engagement through research delivery to research impact. This work package will “contain” those activities in a centralised manner. A detailed description of the range of activities to be included is given below.

Research Engagement

a) Engagement with academic partners.
b) Engagement with large companies in the energy field in Wales and in the UK.
c) Engagement with the Welsh SME Base.
d) Engagement with regulatory bodies and other key institutional stakeholders in Wales and the UK.
e) Engagement with Local Authorities and third Sector organisations.
f) Identification and development of Strategic Partnerships.

Transnational Research Activities

a) Identification of relevant funding opportunities.
b) Partnerships building with leading EU and global energy R&D organisations.
c) Partnerships building with major EU and global companies in the energy field.
d) Regular liaison with EC, EIT and other European funding organisations.
e) Promotion of project results in the EU and overseas.
f) Development of collaborations with other EU/ERDF funded projects and initiatives.
g) Building on synergy with Horizon 2020.
h) Creation of the European Centre of Expertise in Geoenergy.

Research promotion

a) Development of factsheets, briefing notes and case studies communicating research conducted by FLEXIS.
b) Web Site Development and maintenance.
c) Publicity Material and Information Dissemination.
d) Conferences, Workshops, Exhibitions, Day Seminars, etc.

Research Horizon Scanning

a) Spotting the development of new low carbon concepts/technologies around the globe.
b) Identifying emerging Low Carbon technologies and disseminating this information to the research teams.
c) Identifying the latest developments in science, technology and social trends.
d) Identifying the ideas thoughts and discussions around new areas of Low Carbon science as well as tracking developing concepts which may lead to commercial development.

Verification and Validation of Research Outputs

a) Ensuring that the new low carbon products being researched on the project and transferred into companies are developed to a consistently high quality.
b) Work with the research teams to develop a set of guidelines to ensure consistent quality of research and delivery across the project work packages. Support the teams in implementing these guidelines.
c) Carry out verification and validation checks on various modules of research work as they are produced into products/processes ready for transfer into companies.
d) Sample and test aspects of the research outputs by carrying out ‘hands on’ independent checks and trials and writing feedback reports on each item tested.

Development and Coordination of Research Bids

a) Development of FLEXIS bids.

Research Communication

a) Liaison and engagement with UK funding organisations i.e. RCUK, DECC, ETI.
b) Liaison and engagement with relevant Welsh Government departments on new collaborations and areas/technologies researched.
c) Development of library/database of researchers, skills and competences in geo-energy field in Wales, UK, EU and globally.
d) Development of network of potential research and industrial partners for new research bids.
e) Development of an Advanced Communication Platform to enable interactions between project partners and overseas collaborators. In particular, a state of art, robust system for secure and efficient data transfer and data sharing from demonstration sites and experiments will be developed.

Research Procurement Activities Related to Demonstration Sites and Project Collaborations

a) Development of specifications for procured services and collaborations.
b) Liaison and engagement with regulatory bodies, local authorities and relevant organisations on required permissions and licenses.
c) Development of new research facilities; improvement of existing facilities.
d) Engagement and integration with other partners involved in collaborations and demonstration sites.

Research Monitoring and Evaluation

a) Develop and implement Research Monitoring and Evaluation plans.
b) Internal monitoring and evaluation activities.
c) Set up Research Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group.
d) Procure the services of external organisations that will undertake independent monitoring and evaluation of the project.
e) Ensure independent evaluations by an external assessor at 18 month intervals, and one three months before the end date of the project, to analyse progress against key indicators, assess project impact and make recommendations for the future.

Delivery of WEFO Cross Cutting Themes

a) Liaison with WEFO CCT Office.
b) Needs assessment.
c) Development of CCT implementation strategy.
d) Development of relevant tools.
e) CCT implementation.
f) Developing and administering the environmental sustainability plan.
g) Implementing Cardiff University’s policies and procedures on equality and diversity.
h) Developing an environmental policy for FLEXIS.
i) Mainstreaming equality and diversity into the culture of the organisations interacting with FLEXIS.