UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


ISH Director undertakes Impact Fellowship at BIS

17 March 2015


Professor May Cassar, Director of UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage (UCL ISH), is to undertake an eighteen-month secondment in the Research Base of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), conducting research as part of an AHRC Impact Fellowship examining the public benefit, cultural and economic impact and growth prospects of heritage science research with the aim of creating a heritage science innovation systems framework.

The Impact Fellowship, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), will strengthen the dissemination of research activities supported by the AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme. There is a particular focus on developing the relationship between heritage science researchers and industry in order to promote heritage science innovation and to inform policymakers of the value of heritage science to culture and the economy.

Professor Cassar said: ‘The secondment at BIS is both an opportunity and challenge. The opportunity is to identify policy blockages and the challenge is to find ways of addressing them in order to develop the links between heritage science and industry, between research and innovation.’

The Fellowship will identify the benefits, impacts and growth opportunities produced by heritage science research and innovation, along with the research projects that contribute wider benefits to policy, industry and the industry sectors that utilise, or could utilise heritage science research. 

The key outputs of the research conducted will be used to promote an innovation culture among researchers and industry, and activities will include publishing commissioned articles for Research Fortnight and Research Professional. 

The Chairman of the AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme Advisory Committee, the Baroness Sharp of Guildford said: ‘The Science and Heritage Programme is a fine example of how much can be achieved by bringing the arts and sciences together.   The Impact Fellowship provides an opportunity both to extend the legacy of the Programme and also to highlight the wider value of heritage science research.’

About the Science and Heritage Programme

In 2007, on the recommendation of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee Inquiry on Science and Heritage, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) launched the Science and Heritage Programme to fund research activities to deepen understanding and widen participation in heritage science. During the following 7 years, this £8.1 million multi-disciplinary, collaborative Programme has funded 48 projects involving more than 300 researchers, 234 institutions and 50 industry partners both in the UK and overseas.

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