Global Gathering of Go-Getters at Gregynog

Posted on 16 June 2010

POWIS Scholars launching balloons they made as part of their project management training

In celebration of Universities Week 2010 and keeping in spirit with its core values, the University of Wales Global Academy recently organised a three-day residential programme, bridging the gap between academia and industry for a brighter economic future in Wales.

World-renowned academics, entrepreneurs and scholars all descended from across the globe recently to the University of Wales Gregynog Hall, for a concentrated period of elite-level training, development and networking.

This opportunity was provided by the University’s Global Academy Prince of Wales Innovation Scholarships (POWIS) and was an intensive three day residential programme which was held between June 3 and June 5 2010.

Indeed, the rhododendrons weren’t the only things in bloom in Gregynog as burgeoning scholars - hailing from Asia, Africa, USA and Europe – received intensive developmental training seminars from expert speakers. Seminars and talks were specifically geared towards developing and training POWIS scholars, while also aiming to benefit partner companies and academics.

Lending their practical expertise to these sessions were Stephen F. Brown of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who drew on his experiences in overcoming barriers in commercialisation through innovation support; Paul Birchell of Compass Training and Development who enlightened scholars with his innovative approach to developing activities tailored to enhance training objectives and workplace delegation and Dr. Marcus Heuberger of Awen Cymru Ltd who delivered a talk on ‘Getting to grips with Intellectual Property.’

Phillip Harter from Germany, a POWIS PhD scholar working at Cell Therapy Ltd, who attended the programme said:

“The POWIS residential programme was a brilliant experience. There are a lot of clever people out there with degrees who’ve got a great academic background but who need guidance and support in making the transition from education to the world of business. And this is what the Global Academy does so successfully.”

Companies and academics were also a huge focus of the programme - the participation and engagement of both fields being integral to the success of the ethos of the Global Academy. Topics ranging from Research and Development Tax Credits to Market Competitiveness were covered. Professors Antti Paasio and Pasi Malinen of University of Turku, Finland underscored the significance of university-industry relations using their home country as a case study.

“I found the whole event very rewarding and as an Industrialist it is encouraging to learn that there will be a number of well-rounded experts entering key industrial sectors in the future. I can also confirm that my company will be taking advantage of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Industrial Liaison Program set up as part of POWIS” said Roderick Thomas, Thermography Programme Manager TWI Technology Centre Wales.

As well as having a POWIS PhD scholar working with their company, businesses participating in the POWIS programme also receive numerous other benefits like the innovation and entrepreneurship residential programmes run by UW Global Academy and courses run by some of the world’s leading thinkers such as the MIT Sloan School. Every POWIS company or scholar is also part of the Global Academy innovation network which provides free membership to the MIT Industrial Liaison Program, a valuable resource for businesses which normally costs $60k per annum.

Stephen Brown, President of Innovate4Growth and also a senior academic at MIT spoke of the value of integrating academia with industry, and suggested that each POWIS scholar has the potential to be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, given the right amount of support and business acumen. He commented:

‘It’s absolutely critical to energise young people and innovative thinkers to take the risk to make things happen, because the economic growth that comes from just one success can transform the economic geography of a whole nation. This programme is designed to reach for that same level of accomplishment. Through the POWIS scholars coming together and learning the basics of commercialisation, they can start to network among themselves, then with the world at large.’

Richie Turner, Deputy Director of the Global Academy Innovation Programme, concluded:

‘The POWIS residential courses are a key value-added element of the whole POWIS programme. We aim to provide the best teachers and trainers in world to help our Scholars, our companies and our academics keep at the forefront of cutting edge, innovation thinking and thereby ensure Welsh business grows and thrives in the global knowledge economy.’


Notes to Editors:

The University of Wales Global Academy has specifically designed POWIS to bring the private sector together with bright graduates from around the world and academic expertise from both within Wales and around the globe.

Launched in 2009 by HRH The Prince of Wales, the POWIS scheme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and investment from the University of Wales itself, has an £11.4M budget with which to encourage Welsh companies to undertake collaborative R&D innovation projects.

For more information about the Residential and the Global Academy please email: or visit: 
For more information on The University of Wales please visit:

For press and media information, please contact Tom Barrett, Communications Officer, University of Wales:



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