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This morning we introduced Kate Beresford to colleagues at the Department of Business Innovation and Skills in Westminster. Initially planned by Jenny Moore as a handover meeting, BIS's Daniel Shah thought it would be a good opportunity to bring together all three strands of the Directorates that have impact on our work. We therefore also met with Dr. Caroline Reeve who heads up University Research and Knowledge Exchange, Tim Simons of the Enterprise Directorate and also had a voice link with Ron Allen of the Higher Education Directorate.We enjoyed over 90 minutes of frank conversation and had ample time to outline our case. All four points of the IEEC Concordat were addressed and discussed in some depth. Two main points emerged. Firstly, BIS need a grass root evidence base on which to inform policy and it was suggested that this was something that we might wish to consider, as our network is extremely well positioned to inform the BIS team, they would welcome this. Secondly, although funding issues may be foremost in our minds, BIS are wholly supportive of the aims and objectives of EEUK, the fact that we had all three departments represented bears testament to the fact that they want to hear our perspectives.Perhaps obviously for English institutions, and although it was not part of our intention for this meeting, the HEIF funding proposals provided something of a backdrop to our talks. What is clear is that we must be sure to respond to the consultation process with clear arguments for each of our Institutions. So please be alert and check out the consultation pages here.

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