Memorandum submitted by Bolton Institute
1. Bolton Institute is a higher educational
institution comprising three Faculties:
(i) The Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Education;
(ii) The Faculty of Business; and
(iii) The Faculty of Technology.
2. Within two of these Faculties about 3,000
students study on courses leading to HND, BSc and MSc awards across
the scientific and technological disciplines:
biological and environmental studies;
civil and environmental engineering;
electronic and computer technology;
design and mechanical technology;
In addition, research teams work in each of
these areas with over 70 research students registered for higher
3. The evidence submitted in this memorandum
relates only to those changes and initiatives arising from the
White Paper that have impacted significantly upon the Institute
and its development since 1993. As outlined below, this impact
has been considerable in certain areas outlined.
4. The value of the creation of Technology
Foresight has been recognised at various levels from involving
selected (invited) staff to participate in the process to enabling
the Institute to focus its science and technological activities
in a more strategic fashion.
5. With regard to the latter, the Institute
has always offered courses vocationally orientated to key regional
wealth-creating sectors. It has generated consultancy and commercial
activities in parallel with its curricular and research activities.
By choice, research has always been of an applied character in
order to address applied problems and Foresight has aided this
6. The Foresight process and its prioritised
agendas have enabled Institute academic staff to prioritise activities
and to map these on to those of research and project initiative
funders more effectively. For example, the clear statements within
the Foresight Materials agenda have enabled the Institute to develop
an UK presence in technical textiles research and gain related
research funding from EPSRC and DTI in collaboration with industry
7. In addition, the Institute has taken
a lead in the Foresight process for the UK textiles sector and
this initiative has drawn together all relevant HEIs from across
the UK as well as industrial representation.
8. Not unrelated to the above outcomes has
been the development of technology transfer as a prime activity
within the Faculty of Technology. Currently, technical expert
advice and transfer are undertaken in each of the technological
areas identified in paragraph 1 above.
9. Of particular note, is the significant
expansion in microelectronics where Bolton Institute has been
the DTI-designated North West centre for microelectronics in business
since 1990. This DTI-supported technological transfer to the region's
microelectronic engineering companies has been supplemented by
EU funding under the FUSE programme. The Institute is recognised
by the European funders as one of only a few "model"
technology transfer modes within the Community.
10. The White Paper's focus on the need
to improve access to SMEs has offered considerable opportunities
for the Institute since 1993. Not only has it enabled the Institute's
research and technology transfer activities to be focused upon
this sector but also it has catalysed the development of SME-specific
11. The MBA for Small Business was pioneered
by the Faculty of Business during 1996 and is now providing a
supply of highly trained managers for the SME sector.
12. Using an EPSRC IGDS (Integrated Graduate
Development Scheme) award in 1996, the Faculty of Technology has
developed and implemented the UK's first MSc in Advanced Microelectronics
for Industry to be offered over the Internet and delivered to
13. The Institute has more recently won
funding from European (eg "The Virtual Centre", ADAPT
programme to develop on-line management learning to extend the
MBA in Small Business to the Internet) and regional development
agency sources to develop skills and training packages with special
focus on SMEs across the North West.
14. Based on its success in the above activities
and its commitment to supporting the SME sector, the Institute
has just appointed a Chair in SME Innovation within the Faculty
15. The Research Councils' commitment to
wealth creation and the quality of life and their acknowledgement
of the relevance of Foresight have enabled the Institute's new
knowledge-based activities to map more closely on to these changed
strategies. As a consequence, the winning of EPSRC and ESRC funding
has increased significantly since 1993, with the majority of projects
being in collaboration with external partners from the wealth-creating
16. The development of LINK along the lines
of the White Paper proposals has enabled the Institute to participate
in one successful Surface Engineering LINK programme (1996-99)
and recently to be awarded a Foresight LINK project commencing
in June 2000.
17. The Government's recognition of the
importance of this has enabled the Institute to extend its activities
into the public domain and to invite public participation in achieving
elements of its mission.
18. More specifically, both formal and informal
links have been forged with schools and colleges and these activities
assist with the marketing of technologically-based courses and
hence the recruitment of talented young people on to these.
19. The White Paper has had significant
impact upon the work and development of a medium-sized HEI with
a significant science and technology portfolio of activities like
Bolton Institute. Of prime importance is the paper's recognition
of the need for relevance of the science and technology base and
especially the role of technology transfer to SMEs. The Institute
has benefited from and exploited these issues with success.
20. Further consequences of the White Paper
have been to enable the Institute to be recognised for its position
as a major science and technology provider in the North West region
and for it to compete successfully with its larger Universitytitled
21. The Institute's commitment to new knowledge
creation and application (including via technology transfer) is
at the core of its recently published Strategic Plan, 1999-2005.
9 June 2000