The GW4 Alliance, a partnership between four research-intensive and leading UK universities - Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, and Exeter - is marking its 10th anniversary. Established in 2013 the alliance brings together their collective research and innovation strengths to support economic growth and tackle some of the world's most pressing issues. The alliance’s commitment to interdisciplinary research and innovation has been the foundation of its achievements over the last decade.
In celebration of the last 10 years, the GW4 Alliance has unveiled a new brand visual identity and will be hosting the launch of its new Strategic Vision on Friday 5th May at the ICC Wales. The event will be led by GW4 Alliance Director, Dr Joanna Jenkinson MBE, and will see senior leaders of each university reflect on the opportunities and accomplishments provided by the alliance. Alongside the celebrations, the event will provide attendees with the chance to engage in the GW4 strategic priorities from achieving sustainable Net Zero, cyber and digital transformation, fostering creative communities to enhance sociocultural growth, to advancing health and wellbeing.
Collaboration has been central to the GW4's success, enabling the delivery of innovative research programmes to address major societal problems and governmental challenges. GW4 institutions have a strong history of contributing to global knowledge economy, hosting more than 40 externally funded Doctoral Training Centres and Partnerships, of which 14 Doctoral Training Programmes (DTPs) are GW4 endeavours. The DTPs cover a broad range of disciplines, including arts and humanities, biosciences, physics, and cyber security, among others. By pooling resources and expertise, the connections that have grown from these programmes have the power to shape and inform policy and attract investment to support regional economic growth.
The GW4 Alliance's unique geography – as the only research alliance to collaborate across England and a devolved nation – puts South West England and South Wales region in a prime position to support the UK Government's levelling up agenda and boost economic growth. With over 100 research communities covering a wide range of disciplines, from mental health to creative economies, the GW4 Alliance has managed to achieve a significant return on investment. For every £1 spent on collaborative research communities, GW4 captures over £20 in external research awards. To date, the alliance has generated over £64 million in external research income, translating innovative research into real-world benefits for society and organisations.
A Hub for Innovation and Action
GW4’s interdisciplinary approach has allowed researchers to gain different insights and knowledge, enabling solutions that look across the breadth of an issue. Strategic alliances, such as the GW4 AMR Alliance and the GW4 Climate Alliance, bring researchers together to tackle global challenges. The GW4 Alliance has invested in major flagship centres of excellence and shared equipment, such as the GW4 Isambard supercomputer, VSimulators facility, GW4 Facility for High-Resolution Electron Cryo-Microscopy (GW4 Cryo-EM), and GW4 CT and MRI Scanners. These facilities have catalysed collaboration between GW4 researchers and beyond, enabling cutting-edge research across the region.
GW4 Alliance Director, Dr Joanna Jenkinson, MBE, said “I am incredibly proud of the numerous achievements and advancements that the GW4 Alliance has made over the past decade. I am grateful for the hard work and dedication of our staff, researchers, and partners, and I cannot emphasise enough the importance of continued collaboration and innovation to address the complex challenges of our modern world. Change doesn’t happen alone, and as humanity faces some of the greatest challenges of our time, the GW4 Alliance is committed to forging a better future for all.”
As the GW4 Alliance celebrates its 10th anniversary, it continues to push the boundaries of research and innovation, driving collaborations that help address global challenges and support regional economic growth. The next 5 years will see the GW4 Alliance provide sector-leading opportunities, developing our people, and creating positive social impact within the region and beyond.