Skip to the main content

NERC Consultancy Innovation Programme reports significant impact

The programme, delivered by ECCI, matches PhD students with policy and business consultancy opportunities and provides them with opportunities to undergo training and attend professional conferences.

It is the business and public policy-facing component of the University of Edinburgh’s NERC E3 DTP initiative. This brings together 28 partners and more than 200 supervisors with research expertise in earth and environmental sciences.

The 2017/18 report shows that ECCI enabled business and policy engagement by matching students with businesses, boosted impact and innovation skills by delivering skills and industry workshops and deepened sector knowledge to support impact and end user experience.


  • 700+ businesses and organisations made aware of the NERC E3 DTP programme
  • 30+ attendees at ECCI workshops and events
  • 17 organisations interested in working with NERC E3 DTP students
  • 5 industry engagement events and site visits
  • 4 NERC E3 DTP student internships secured
  • 2 students awarded travel grants to attend industry events
  • 100% of students taking part in the programme reported that they learned beneficial new skills.

Professor Andy Kerr, Director of ECCI, said: “Our focus is bringing people together to spark real action for a thriving zero carbon future, through cross-sector collaboration and game-changing projects.

“So it makes perfect sense for us to link students with our network of start-ups, established businesses and policy experts to give them experience in translating their expertise into real world outcomes.”

Professor Iain Woodhouse, CEO of host organisation Carbomap said: “The NERC Innovation Programme delivers high quality students to work with us for a short period of time.

“On both occasions that we have had interns I could not have asked for more from them.”

Dr Richard Essery, Reader in High Resolution Atmospheric Modelling and Deputy Director (Training), E3 DTP, University of Edinburgh, said: "ECCI workshops and industry placement opportunities are an essential part of our PhD training programme, raising students' awareness of pathways to impact from research and transferring skills beyond academia."

Could you benefit from the NERC Consultancy Innovation programme? Are you a start-up, SME or third sector organisation? Looking for some PhD student support at no cost?