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To provide a step-change in the support we offer to our departments, jointly with the Humanities Division, we are introducing a new Business Engagement and Partnerships team to work with the existing divisional Research and Impact Support teams.

This new team of three will be headed up by Esther Brown, our new Head of Business Engagement and Partnerships, who will start with us on 1 June. We are in the process of recruiting two Business Engagement Managers to work with her, who we hope will be in post later in the Summer.

By providing additional support for our researchers, the team will enable researchers to identify and co-develop collaborative projects with business partners, secure funding from the new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) and other business related funding; and engage with businesses to deliver impact for the private sector.

There is serious untapped potential in Social Sciences research, which has a great deal to offer businesses and industries in most sectors. Social Sciences provide insights into human behaviour, creating efficiencies and helping businesses to engage with their customers and client base as disruptive technologies, such as AI take effect.

Professor Mark Pollard from Oxford's Social Sciences Division said:
'Businesses will find there is huge potential in social sciences research. Using research-based insights into human behaviour, this team will support social sciences researchers to work together with businesses to help them to future-proof themselves. Our research can help to develop new products and tools, create efficiencies and productivity, and facilitate the take-up of new technologies among customers. Putting people, human behaviour and social sciences research at the centre of our efforts to drive forward the economy will create a stronger UK.'

As part of this work we worked more closely with Oxford University Innovation to organise the first Business Engagement event. More events are planned for the future. Please do get in touch, if you are interested or want to find out more about this exciting new phase of research and impact support.

Best wishes, Sam Sneddon (Assistant Registrar (Research))