What can universities do to create more impact from research?

Join us for a conversation about what universities can do to create more impact from research.

The “Impact Agenda” has become increasingly important in recent years as funders of research look for ways to justify their investments through measurable contributions to the economy and society. In the UK, this new measure of academic success was tested in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, where Universities were required to submit case studies capturing the impact of their research. Impact cases were then evaluated, ranking all Universities against each other in subject league tables. The results led to major differences in income for Universities.

Computing at Newcastle University UK, was ranked #1 in the UK for impact. The process of preparing the impact cases and analysing other University’s submissions led us to explore whether there might be more systematic methods to increase research impact.

In this seminar, Barry Hodgson will describe how Newcastle University piloted ideas on how to achieve greater impact through the Digital Institute – a research institute that has played a leading role in winning over AUD$130M in external funding for Newcastle University in the past 8 years.

One major outcome of this exploration has been the award of AUD$50M to create the UK’s National Innovation Centre for Data. It has also led to changes in PhD training to increase business awareness, and ultimately to pioneering a new type of organisational structure that allows research, teaching and engagement to be integrated in a virtuous “Innovation Cycle”.

Audience members are invited to participate in a subsequent discussion, and the event will conclude with a drinks reception.

Event details


Date: Tuesday 5 December, 2017
Time: 3.00 pm (followed by drinks reception 4.00 – 5.00pm)
Venue: The Gibson Room, Level 10, Z Block
RSVP: 28 November 2017 via this link 


The event is free to attend. Places are limited as this is a catered event, so early registration is encouraged. For more information please contact Professor Abby Cathcart.

About the Presenter

With a background in management and software innovation, Barry Hodgson is the Manager of the Digital Institute at Newcastle University UK, and Deputy Director of the National Innovation Centre for Data. After spending time in university administration, in 1999 he ‘spun-out’ of the University with Arjuna Solutions Ltd, a start-up based on research from Newcastle University’s School of Computing Science. This was acquired for AUS$22M by Bluestone Software in 2000. After a period working for Hewlett-Packard he formed a separate start-up that was acquired by Red Hat Inc. in 2005.

In 2009 Barry re-joined Newcastle University to manage the Digital Institute, including projects worth AUD$130M in the past 8 years. The work of the Digital Institute is to train the data science leaders of the future through a AUD$13M EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training that will have delivered over 60 PhDs by 2022.

Barry Hodgson has a BSc (Hons) International Business Management and an MBA (Distinction) from Newcastle University, UK.


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