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Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act 2022

Research and innovation

Section 105: Financial support for research and innovation

341.This section allows the Commission to provide funding to registered providers, specified in regulations, to carry out research and innovation. It is envisaged that the registered providers may be higher education institutions, further education institutions or other providers.

342.A registered provider receiving funding will be able to pass the funding to collaborating bodies in connection with the research and innovation with the Commission’s consent. This will allow the provider to work collaboratively with a broad range of partners that may be engaged in research and innovation. The registered provider will be accountable to the Commission for the expenditure of public funding and for accounting for funding which is passed on to a collaborating body. Section 108 contains procedures to be followed when the Commission is deciding whether or not to give consent.

343.The Commission can also make grants, loans or other payments to a person who is providing services for or in connection with research or innovation by a specified provider.

344.The Commission must when providing financial support, have regard to ensuring that it does not do anything which would discourage providers from seeking or maintaining funding from other sources (for example from industry, commerce, benefactors, alumni, UKRI, Horizon Europe or other eligible funding sources).

345.The Commission is also required, in exercising its research and innovation funding functions, to have regard to the desirability of maintaining any distinctive characteristics of any provider to which it provides financial support. It is a matter for the Commission to determine what it considers to be an appropriate balance of support in light of any other relevant considerations. Such characteristics may include, for example, the specialist nature of its provision.

Section 106: Financial support for research and innovation: terms and conditions

346.This section enables the Commission to impose terms and conditions on funding to a registered provider as it considers appropriate. If the funding is passed onto a collaborating body the Commission could, for instance, as a condition of funding, in turn require the recipient provider to impose conditions on any funding it passes to a collaborating body. The Commission cannot impose terms and conditions on funding received by a provider which comes from other sources.

347.This section also makes provision for how funding decisions under section 105 should be made by the Commission. The Commission is required to have regard to what is generally known as the Haldane principle (namely that decisions on individual proposals are best taken following an evaluation of their quality and likely impact).

348.The concept will apply to all funding decisions under section 105 made by the Commission. Therefore the provision allows that the general direction on funding should be led by the Commission, but also expects decisions regarding the research to be made by experts in the field, outside of the Commission, for example ensuring that research proposals benefit from competitive tendering exercises might be one way of meeting the requirement to have regard to the principle. The purpose of the requirement to have regard to this principle is to ensure that academic freedom is not compromised during the process.

Section 107: The Commission’s other functions in relation to research and innovation

349.This section sets out the Commission’s duty to promote the awareness and understanding of research and innovation carried out in Wales, to ensure it reaches a wide audience in Wales and to disseminate the results of research and innovation.

350.The Commission is required to monitor the performance of its funding programmes to ensure maximum success, effectiveness of delivery and value for money. This information must be included in the annual report as required by paragraph 16 of Schedule 1.

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Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of Senedd Cymru.


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