Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) | Skills Gateway
Welsh Government

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Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS)

Team up with leading universities and secure funding for research to develop new markets and products.

The Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) have been established to provide businesses with the opportunity to partner universities on collaborative research projects. The aim of KESS is to help increase the research capacity of SME businesses operating in the Welsh Government's priority economic sectors. 

KESS provides west Wales and Valleys' businesses operating in the Welsh Government's priority sectors (digital economy, low carbon economy, Health and Bioscience, Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing) with the opportunity to partner universities on funded research projects.

Businesses can access research to Research Masters and PhD level that is both affordable and practical, and develop the future markets and new products essential to continued success. Funding depends on the size of each business. But if you employ less than 50, a research post-graduate could cost your business as little as £2,500 per annum in wages, and an in-kind contribution of just £1,500 per annum.

The business benefits

Research and Development is the fuel that powers business forward. For a suprisingly low cost, you can undertake highly sophisticated, business building research at Research Masters and PhD level that opens doors to future markets, provides opportunities for new products and ensures continued growth and success. Partnering one of our respected universities, you'll work with talented academics and attract new, highly qualified researchers to your business. What's more, the valuable marketing and PR opportunities generated by the project will position your business as a leading edge, highly skilled and ambitious organisation.

What support will you get?

The financial advantages of being a business partner of KESS are significant. Investing in research and development can prove to be costly for many SME businesses, yet with KESS support access to first-class research is affordable, practical and realistic. The level of KESS funding you receive depends on the size of your business and the number of people you employ. But, as an example, if you employ less than 50 people, a highly skilled research post graduate could cost your business as little as £2,500 per annum in wages and an in-kind contribution of just £1,500 per annum.

Your commitment

The KESS support will require commitment from you in return. You will need to demonstrate that the research is relevant, high quality and will bring economic benefits to your business, and your sector as a whole. 

The research student will spend a minimum of 1 month per year with your company, and the project will be closely monitored by way of quarterly reporting - a report completed and signed by all 3 parties (you, the university and the research student).

Is your business eligible?

For your business to be eligible you must be operating in the defined convergence areas of west Wales and the Valleys. In addition, your R&D project must be linked to one of the following Welsh Government's priority sectors:

  • Digital Economy
  • Low Carbon Economy
  • Health and Bioscience
  • Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing

Call the Business Wales Helpline on 03000 6 03000 or contact us.

KESS is part-funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

 

Programme Checklist
Delivery AreaWest Wales and the Valleys
Status Live
Supported by the European Social Fund?Yes
Programme Lead

Welsh Government