Council meeting March 2008

The 69th meeting of the Council.

Monday 10 March

Item Number Item Description Document Reference
1. Minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2007  
2. Matters arising  
3. Update from the Executive EPSRC 01-08
4. Report from Resource Audit Committee Oral

Policy Issues

Item Number Item Description Document Reference
5. Research Council’s UK Review of Physics EPSRC 02-08
6. Innovation Review EPSRC 03-08
7. EPSRC’S Interaction with the Funding Councils EPSRC 04-08

For approval

Item Number Item Description Document Reference
8. Financial Statement and 2007/08 Delivery Plan Update EPSRC 05-08
9. Final 2008/09 Delivery Plan Budget – to follow EPSRC 06-08

For information

Item Number Item Description Document Reference
10. ICT International Review Action Plan - Update EPSRC 07-08
11. International Review of Materials 2008 EPSRC 08-08
12. Membership of Advisory Panels 2008/09 EPSRC 09-08
13. RCUK Response to Research Excellence Framework Consultation EPSRC 10-08
14. Diary of Events  
15. EPSRC Glossary of Terms and Acronyms  

Note of meeting

Council met on 10 March. The principal business centred on the Physics Review, innovation, EPSRC's relationship with the Funding Councils and the budget for 2008/09.

Council first of all noted the report from its Resource Audit Committee, which was dominated by views on the Shared Service Centre project, currently in progress. Council noted the concerns expressed but was reassured by EPSRC's own change management programme which had successfully positioned the organisation to launch a new structure in line with its planned timetable of 1 April 2008.

Council was asked to provide advice on EPSRC's position in relation to the recently started Physics Review, chaired by Council member Professor Wakeham.  Council advised on a number of aspects of the review, including who to consult, the data to review, and the definition of what physics is.

Council then provided views on EPSRC's response to the Sainsbury Review on innovation, focusing in particular on the need to engage with Regional Development Agencies.

Council then discussed the EPSRC's interactions with the Funding Councils. Aspects covered included the Research Excellence Framework, the impact of devolution, Full Economic Costs and the economic impact agenda. Council in particular focused on issues arising from the Bologna training model, which will be further discussed as part of a major item at Council’s next meeting. It was noted that with Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) now managed within the same department as the Research Councils, there was scope to find common ground and develop policies in tandem.

Council approved the budget for 2008/09, and was then provided, for information, with the provisional outcomes of the International review of Materials, with a progress report against EPSRC responses to the 2007 International Review of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and with the RCUK response to the Funding Councils consultation on the Research Excellence Framework.

The next meeting is on 29 April.