Miller Research are delighted to have been commissioned by TWI to undertake the inception and mid-term evaluations of their AEMRI project. The inception evaluation will help to ensure the business and delivery plans are built on a foundation that should provide the expected outcomes and impacts. Furthermore, the process should help to ensure that the monitoring systems are effective in making the most suitable data available to provide insight into whether AEMRI is delivering upon the required outputs, outcomes and impacts. Subsequently, the interim or mid-term evaluation will build upon the findings of the inception evaluation, and review progress (using the monitoring data) to assess whether delivery is achieving the aims and objectives as set out in the business plan. The findings from the mid-term will be implemented during the remainder of the operation to ensure the maximum benefits are achieved by the end of the operation.
TWI has a long history stretching back to the 1940s when it was established as a government funded research group (a part of Cambridge University) to improve welding standards for manufacturing processes– specifically during the war effort. Today, TWI is a company limited by guarantee with around 1,800 (global) industrial members and around 1,000 employees. The scope of its operation has extended far beyond welding standards and now incorporates all aspects of all types of materials’ structural engineering integrity testing and inspection needs. TWI Wales, established in 2003, specialises in non-destructive testing. TWI and TWI Wales have a unique role that engages with industry and looks at the outputs coming from the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) through funding to make sure it meets the needs of industry. It was due to the strong relationship between TWI Wales, industry, HEIs and Welsh Government that the plan for AEMRI arose.
The AEMRI, funded through the European Rural Development Fund (ERDF), is an ambitious project which plans to create new infrastructure on its site in Port Talbot which brings together cutting edge equipment, expertise and resources to test the performance of the latest advanced materials. The institute is funded through the Research and Innovation priority (Objective 1.1) that aims to enhance the surrounding infrastructure and develop excellence within the sector. The following project outputs are expected:
- Secure new streams of research funding,
- Introduction of new researchers,
- Safeguarding of current researcher in improved facilities,
- A network of supported research institutions, and
- Improvements in research infrastructure.