Athena SWAN application evidence base

Equality and diversity, Research, analysis and evidence, University
Another partnership between Ortus Economic Research and Dr Eugenie Hunsicker at Loughborough University, this study was commissioned to support the EDI Manager at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in generating evidence of the equality and diversity issues faced within the Institute. The prime aim of the study was to feed evidence into the development of an institutional application for an Athena SWAN Bronze award (submitted December 2020). The study considered all aspects of equality and diversity as well as gender in order to support institutional action in addressing EDI challenges. The project required us to analyse results of a staff survey and run numerous focus groups with academic and professional and support staff in order to create an insightful evidence base. We also provide ongoing guidance and a 'critical friend' role…
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Economic impact assessment of the Energy Central project

Evaluation and impact assessment, Sectors
Energy Central is a successful strategic partnership which has been established to promote the Blyth Estuary’s key role in the UK offshore renewable energy sector, through the development of key industrial sites, building research capability, and ensuring a skills pipeline that is relevant to the needs of the sector. The economic regeneration organisation Advance Northumberland (one of the partners in Energy Central) appointed a partnership of New Skills Consulting and Ortus ER to deliver an economic impact assessment of Energy Central and its potential to deliver further economic benefits in the future, based on a pipeline of development projects and initiatives. Key requirements of this project included providing a baseline position by mapping the current size and scale of the energy sector in the Blyth area and evidence of the…
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IRC Gender Strategy and Action Plan review

Equality and diversity, Evaluation and impact assessment, Higher Education
Ortus Economic Research, working in parternship with Dr Eugenie Hunsicker and Dr Gemma Witcomb from Loughborough University, are currently delivering a review of this the Irish Research Council's Gender Strategy and Action Plan. This important initiative, launched in 2013, is due to be refreshed and therefore a review of the current strategy was deemed to be an important and valuable step. The strategy has two key aims: to support gender equality in research careers across all disciplines and to support the integration of the gender dimension in research content. The review considers the impact of the current strategy, the current and likely future barriers and enablers to advancing gender equality and integrating the gender dimension into research, consideration of similar initiatives being delivered by other research funding agencies and the…
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UK Space clusters

NDPB, Research, analysis and evidence, Sectors
The UK Space sector has demonstrated that it is of key importance to the UK economy as a sector with significant growth potential. The Innovation Caucus at Sheffield University provides a range of advice and support to Innovate UK through its funding arrangements. The Innovation Caucus brought Ortus Economic Research into their team to develop a toolkit to allow existing and developing Space clusters across the UK to undertake a self-assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The self-assessment will be used drive decisions on support and funding. Our role was twofold: firstly, to assess available data related to the sector to consider whether there was an available source that could be used to quantify the size and value of local space clusters, and secondly to engage with…
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Creative Industries in the North of Tyne

Economic growth, Research, analysis and evidence, University
Ortus and survey partners Qa Research have been commissioned by Newcastle University to undertake a mapping study of the creative and cultural industries in the North of Tyne area. Scoping work in this area has identified that existing data is patchy in both coverage and depth, and some derived from national statistics rather than locally grounded research. This research will map the distinctive characteristics of the creative industries in the North of Tyne Combined Authority area and identify particular challenges or barriers to growth. The University has considerable research strengths in the creative and cultural industries and already works in partnership with the sector on a range of projects and strategic initiatives. The aim of this work is to better enable the University to identify and respond to local need…
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Employment and skills issues in the North East

Local Enterprise Partnership, Research, analysis and evidence, Skills and labour markets
Ortus and survey partners Qa Research have been commissioned to deliver an assessment of current and future skills and employment needs in the tourism and offshore wind sectors in the North East, and an assessment of the digital skills and employment needs in the region's health and social care sector. The research has been commissioned by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership on behalf of the North East Skills Advisory Panel, and will involve a survey of employers in each of the three sectors and a series of in-depth interviews, as well as analysis of secondary data. The research will help the Skills Advisory Panel and the LEP to ensure that skills provision reflects employer needs. The North East Local Enterprise Partnership is a public, private and education sector partnership.…
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Arrow impact evaluation

Evaluation and impact assessment, Innovation, University
Newcastle University appointed New Skills Consulting and Ortus Economic Research to undertake an independent evaluation of the Arrow Innovation Project. The Arrow programme introduces a new model for innovation support in higher education, with the creation of a specialist team of innovation advisers working with client companies and drawing in academic expertise from across the University. The key point of difference is that the academic input is highly focused, managed by the innovation advisers and only brought in where value can be added. The innovation advisers’ role in delivering the majority of the innovation support means that one of the key barriers to engagement for HE in the field of innovation (the difficulties associated with building relationships between academics and small and medium sized businesses – SMEs) is lowered. The…
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Impact evaluation of the National Innovation Centre for Data

Evaluation and impact assessment, Innovation, University
The University of Newcastle appointed Ortus, along with our partner Cloud Chamber, to carry out an independent evaluation to assess progress against the NICD's original objectives and to measure its economic impact. Specifically, the impact evaluation has the following key aims: To develop an evaluation framework and delivery planTo generate an initial baseline assessmentTo produce annual formative evaluation reportsTo produce a final summative evaluation reportTo provide ongoing advice and guidance as appropriate to the project delivery/management team Early work has been focused on reviewing the landscape within which the project sits and making recommendations on key milestones and measures going forward. Annual formative assessments are being undertaken focused on performance against key objectives and also to identify learning points from an operational and delivery point of view. Finally, a summative…
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Impact assessment of the 2015 Sunderland Economic Masterplan

Economic growth, Local Authority, Strategy and policy development
Sunderland City Council commissioned the Ortus team (whilst at TBR) to undertake an assessment of the likely economic impacts that are likely to arise through the delivery of the Economic Masterplan. The study delivered a baseline assessment of the Sunderland economy based on published statistics, economic projections and knowledge of recent and “live” projects to establish a “starting point”. This was followed by an assessment and analysis of the anticipated quantitative and qualitative outputs and outcomes of the programme of activities identified by Economic Leadership Board (and its supporting Results Groups) from the 3,6,9 Framework. These measures included: Contribution to economic growthContribution to productivity output, employment and incomesContribution to business growth and diversification The assessment reported on three direct quantitative impacts: Gross Value Added (GVA) as a measure of the…
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The development and justification of a strategy to support sector specialisms in Sheffield

City Region, Economic growth, Strategy and policy development
Sheffield City Region had recently developed a draft Growth Plan for the local economy and this had been submitted to government for review. A fundamental conclusion of this work was to highlight the need to better understand the sub sectors of the City Region’s economy which represent its USPs, and the specialist businesses and specialist technologies that exist locally. This was deemed to be vital in demonstrating the specialisms that differentiate the City Region from other LEP areas. This project was designed to identify and assess these specialisms, with a view to providing insights to allow the City Region to prioritise investment in support of them. Importantly, the specialisms had to be identified in light of global trends and in consideration of the key markets and areas that are forecast…
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