Last week saw the marking of our first anniversary, with an event sponsored by the First Minister and the ESRC; sharing our successes from the year, as well as looking forward to the work ahead of us.
A full room of guests in the Pierhead listened to the endorsement from the First Minister on both the quality but also the relevance of our work, which is helping to shape Welsh Government policy. Through our work with leading experts, we have achieved the primary function of our work: bringing expertise, challenge and fresh thinking to create more robust policy for Wales. The First Minister announced an additional 13 work assignments which will be added to our ongoing list of work.
Phil Sooben, Deputy Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), talked about how pleased he is that the ESRC is one of the Institute’s joint funders, and the importance of our role in the UK wide What Works Network. Through ESRC funding, we are ensuring that evidence from across the UK is brought to Wales, but also that evidence from Wales and good policy is spread among our neighbours.
Professor Sir Adrian Webb, our Chair, reflected on the achievements of the PPIW thus far. He noted that the number of completed assignments was particularly impressive, and talked about some of the highlights, such as our report on the Invest to Save fund, launched by the Minister for Finance.
I echoed much of this, but also wanted to thank those who have contributed to our success: our team, the Board of Governors, the Executive Group and, perhaps most importantly, those that we have worked with.
We have set a firm base for our work, and I look forward to building on this in the coming months and years.
Professor Steve Martin, Director of the Public Policy Institute for Wales