July 2014

SQW awarded framework contract with the European Commission

SQW has been awarded a framework contract with the European Commission's Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) and the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT).

This contract, worth up to €10 million, means SQW and the consortium it leads (which includes partners from Denmark, Italy, Lithuania and the UK) are now one of a select group of preferred providers of evaluation, impact assessment and related services to the EU institutions in the areas of education and training, culture and audiovisual policy, youth, sport, languages, and innovation and technology for the next four years (2014-2017).

This builds on the significant and growing amount of work SQW has delivered for the European Commission in recent years, and marks another significant step in SQW's diversification and internationalisation strategy.


June 2014

SQW appointed to evaluate Superfast Broadband in Cheshire

Connecting Cheshire is a multi-million pound programme to extend the coverage of fibre broadband services to 96% of premises in Cheshire, Warrington and Halton in the North West of England. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the programme also includes business support activities, in order to ensure that the sub-region starts reaping the economic benefits of enhanced connectivity as quickly as possible.

SQW has been commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the programme. The evaluation will include an assessment of the economic, social and environmental impacts of the programme, drawing on the methodology developed by SQW for the UK Broadband Impact Study. Working in partnership with BMG Research, the work will also include a survey of 1,000 businesses in the sub-region assessing the current and expected future technological needs of local businesses, and providing an evidence base for decisions on future digital business engagement.


June 2014

SQW appointed to lead evaluation of 'English: The Key to Integration in London'

English language plays a key role in the integration of migrants in London. One of the aims of Greater London Authority's 'English: the key to integration in London' is to improve language levels and school involvement of migrant mothers (those who have been in the UK for less than 10 years) in order to enable them to be more involved with their children's schools and support their children's learning activities.

SQW, in collaboration with Professor Eve Gregory of Goldsmiths, University of London, has been appointed to undertake an evaluation of this aspect of project, and to assess the impact of mother's improved language proficiency on their children's performance in the school and their sense of wellbeing. The evaluation will employ a mixed-methods approach, combining secondary analysis of existing data and primary research through case-study visits, including interviews with stakeholders, project facilitators, mothers and children, and observations at project activities.

For further information regarding the study please contact Marian Morris


May 2014

SQW appointed to lead research on growth finance in Northern Ireland

Access to finance for early-stage businesses has been a key policy issue for all places during the economic downturn. However, the lack of available finance for growth in the form of venture capital and private equity has been a long term issue for Northern Ireland. The Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI), has therefore commissioned SQW to lead research on early-stage growth finance.

Working with leading academics at Glasgow and Middlesex Universities, the research will include collating data on the historic and current provision of venture capital, private equity and other growth finance in Northern Ireland, case-studies on best practice early-stage finance interventions from successful international comparator regions/small economies, and primary research with firms and key stakeholders (public and private) operating in the access to finance market in Northern Ireland.

For further information regarding the study please contact Joe Duggett (jduggett@sqw.co.uk)


April 2014

SQW comments on the launch of MedCity

London Mayor Boris Jonson recently announced the development of MedCity, a major new medical research and translation initiative that aims to position the London, Oxford and Cambridge life sciences sector as a world-leading cluster.

SQW Group's chief executive Chris Green, an expert in the development of knowledge-based clusters, including in Oxford, Cambridge, and internationally, was interviewed by the Telegraph regarding the MedCity proposals. The Telegraph article is available here


April 2014

SQW appointed to lead evaluation of Merseyside Connected

Merseyside Connected is a £15.9 million programme to extend superfast broadband connectivity to areas of Merseyside which would not otherwise obtain coverage through normal market forces. It is a joint programme between Knowsley Borough Council, Liverpool City Council, Sefton Borough Council, St Helens Borough Council and Wirral Borough Council. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the programme also includes business support activities, in order to ensure that the sub-region starts reaping the economic benefits of enhanced connectivity as quickly as possible.

SQW has been commissioned to undertake the ERDF evaluation of the programme. Our work involves developing a model of the economic, social and environmental impacts of the programme, drawing on the methodology developed for the UK Broadband Impact Study. Other research methods will include a desk-based review of the background literature, stakeholder consultations, a survey of business beneficiaries, case studies, as well as analyses of monitoring data and secondary data.


March 2014

SQW appointed to lead evaluation of the Macmillan and Coventry City Council Partnership

The Macmillan and Coventry City Council Partnership was established in 2013, with the aim of bringing transformational change to better support people affected by cancer, through multi-agency working, awareness raising, information sharing and workforce development. SQW has been commissioned by Macmillan to undertake an evaluation of the partnership, to measure its activity, value added and impact on the City Council and other key stakeholders.

The evaluation will be conducted over fifteen months, and comprise of a detailed baseline and scoping phase, two-waves of an online survey, in-depth project case studies, and qualitative consultations. Focus will be placed on identifying innovative, replicable and sustainable best practice, with the intention that the findings of the evaluation will feed into the development of the partnership and wider learning around service integration and personalisation.

For more details regarding the evaluation please contact Graham Thom.


February 2014

Presentation on market and technology futures - Regional Delivery Plan for Employment and Skills for South West and Central Wales

On behalf of the South West and Central Wales Regional Learning Partnership SQW presented recently on the future nature of markets and technologies, and what these might mean for business and employment opportunities in the medium term.

The presentation was part of our wider work supporting the RLP in drafting the Delivery Plan for Employment and Skills, focused on summarising the existing evidence, identifying headline findings, and highlighting any gaps in the evidence base. SQW presented alongside Professor Richard Davies, Vice Chancellor of the University of Swansea; Huw Morris, Director of Skills, Higher Education and Lifelong Learning with the Welsh Government; Elid Morris, RLP Manager; and Owain Davies, Managing Director, Amcanu Ltd and Member of the Wales Employment and Skills Board.

The presentation is available here: Market and Technology Futures


January 2014

SQW appointed to lead evaluation of Greater Manchester Work Programme Leavers Pilot

The Work Programme Leavers Pilot is an experimental Greater Manchester-wide programme to support people who are on Employment Support Allowance and have been through the Work Programme but have not secured a job. SQW, in partnership with Chris Hasluck, has been commissioned to monitor and evaluate the programme over a five year period.

The work will include regular performance monitoring, quarterly updates on implementation progress (using the Common Delivery Framework) and qualitative research to understand progress and aid continuous improvement.

For more details regarding the evaluation please contact Graham Thom