Thu, 26 March, 2020
The Core Research Programme (CRP) invests half of TWI’s Industrial Membership subscriptions, currently around £3.5m/annum, to develop new technology capabilities to be applied in industry in 3-5 years’ time. These services include technical enquiries, expert advice, and research and consultancy via single client and joint industry projects, drawing on our world-leading laboratories. The CRP must therefore satisfy many requirements, which include addressing a range of technologies, meeting the needs of a range of industry sectors in a variety of countries, and achieving an appropriate balance between disruptive and incremental innovation.
The CRP is steered and monitored by Research Board, which comprises representatives of approximately 40 Industrial Members of TWI. The individuals are invited by the Director of Research and Technology to represent the interests of their industry sector and are from organisations that represent the broad cross-section of TWI’s Industrial Membership.
The CRP is a rolling programme of approximately 60 projects, with 10-15 new projects starting every year. Selection of new projects is via a process that ensures the needs of Industrial Members are addressed, in addition to considering wider industry needs and TWI’s capabilities.
TWI identifies potential topics for R&D through several routes, including feedback from Industry Panel meetings, conferences, technology roadmaps and theme maps, standardisation activities, and day-to-day interactions with industry, other research and technology organisations, and academia. The topics are prioritised by the Research Board, who also rank project proposals prepared by TWI. Taking account of this ranking and the need for a balanced programme, as well as considering the budget available for new activity, TWI recommends a programmeof new projects to Research Board.
A new publication, available here, includes a summary of fifteen new projects that started in January 2020, following the consultation process. A full list of the active projects within the CRP is also included. Three of the current research themes attracted particular interest from stakeholders during the selection of new projects, steering investment into these new areas, in addition to TWI’s more traditional fields of activity: