Council meeting December 2009

The 78th meeting of the Council.

Wednesday 16 December

Item Number Item Description Document Reference
1. Minutes of the meeting held on 14 October 2009  
2. Actions and Matters Arising  
3. Update from the Executive EPSRC 52-09

Strategy and Management Business

Item Number Item Description Document Reference
4. Strategic Plan EPSRC 53-09
5. Scenario Planning for the Next Delivery Plan EPSRC 54-09
6. Fusion Strategy EPSRC 55-09
7. Strategy for the Future Provision of High Performance Computing Infrastructure EPSRC 56-09
8. Financial Statement for 2009/10 and Financial Plans for 2010/11 EPSRC 57-09

For information only

Item Number Item Description Document Reference
9. Shared Services Centre Implementation Project - Progress Report December 2009 EPSRC 58-09
10. Future & Previous Council Business EPSRC 59-09
11. Any Other Business  

Note of meeting

Council met on the 16 December when key business included the Strategic Plan, scenario planning for the next delivery plan, and strategy discussions on fusion and the future provision of high performance computing infrastructure

The Chief Executive informed members of recent developments, which included the publication of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Higher Education Framework, “Higher Ambitions - the future of universities in a knowledge economy” in November and a number of other reviews currently taking place - postgraduate training, full economic costing and of university fees - that would be reporting shortly. He also updated members on issues relating to EPSRC finances and the next Spending Review. Council also endorsed the appointment of Rosemary Drinkwater, University of Warwick, to the Resource Audit Committee.

Council went on to review progress on the new Strategic Plan, both the working text and the draft design of the document. Members agreed to the continued work on the Strategic Plan approaches and messages, subject to their advice.

Council also considered scenario planning for the next delivery plan, whereby they were provided with four hypothetical scenarios for 2011-2014. Since overall levels of investment were not yet known, members provided high level comments on what they liked and disliked about the scenarios. These would be further developed by the Executive and brought back to the May Council meeting.

Council went on to consider progress with the joint EPSRC / Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) project for updating our strategy for support of fusion research, including the issues surrounding the future of the Culham site for fusion research. Council endorsed the proposed strategy for Fusion, subject to an additional objective that would ensure it was consistent with Council’s strategy of achieving impact through individual excellence.

Council also considered a strategy for the future provision of High Performance Computing infrastructure. Members were provided with a progress report on the next generation High Performance Computing (HPC) strategy following the last Council discussion in May 2009. In conclusion, Council approved additional financial commitment for the period 2011/12 to 2015/16.

Council was advised on progress on the 2009 Delivery Plan, noted the current financial position for 2009/10 and approved the proposed commitment for 2010/11.

The next meeting is 10 March 2010