People & Planet undertook the Reclaim Research project to find out about corporate influence on research in the UK in 2009-10. This started the process, and now a student working group has taken this on as a grassroots research project across the country.
Why so revolutionary?
The national, participatory approach has not been attempted before, partially because there is very little funding available for anti-corporate research. This indicates not only how unusual but how vital this project is.
What is Reclaim Research?
Welcome to Reclaim Research, a ground-breaking project seeking out the extent of corporate influence in our universities.
Reclaim research is a national and participatory project on a scale which, according to corporate watch, has never been attempted before.
Students at universities around the UK, with the support of a working group and professional researchers, will gather information on two key areas of investigation:
1. Historical research
This area will involve finding out which subjects have been the focus of university research over the past twelve years. With such data it will be possible to make comparisons, for example between the proportion of research done on the development of weapons and research into ecological energy solutions. We can use this information to develop a campaign to tackle corporate influence over the direction of our university research and demand that it be used for the benefit of society and the environment rather than corporate interest.
2. Nature of university-corporation relationships
It is also vital that we discover the current nature of the interaction between corporations and our universities. In particular we need to know if the relationship is an exploitative one, for example one which allows corporations to privatize the fruits of university research. This will allow us to campaign for the outcomes of research to be available to all who may benefit from it, rather than just the elite few. The case of medicines at Edinburgh indicates the great importance of discovering these relationships.
email Ric Lander,, project coordinator