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The event included leading academics from all four universities in GW4: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. Hosted by the University of Exeter, it also included representatives from Local Enterprise Partnerships and the Welsh Government and focussed on presentations and discussion of GW4’s five research and innovation themes: Data Analytics, Healthy Living, Cities and Regions, Sustainable Innovation and the Creative Economy.

The event is part of a major strategy development exercise undertaken by GW4. Work on the strategy began with an Away Day in March, when Vice-Chancellors, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro Vice-Chancellors and other senior staff members from GW4’s academic and professional services teams met to discuss the research strengths and innovation potential of the Alliance and how best to harness them.

Since then, teams from across the Alliance have come together to work on each of the five research and innovation themes. These teams have explored how strengths across the four universities map against regional, national and international priorities and how GW4 and societal partners can use these strengths to address society’s grand challenges.

Sir Mark Walport was accompanied on the visit by Gareth Davies, Director General for Knowledge and Innovation, and Giles Robertson, his Private Secretary.

Sir Mark commented: “I was impressed to see how the GW4 are collaborating to make the most of their collective expertise, resources and research interests. I look forward to seeing how GW4 builds upon these strengths to create innovative and ground-breaking research.”

Professor Guy Orpen, Chair of GW4 Board, commented: “The collective and distinctive strengths of GW4 and our allies are of great national importance – it has been enormously beneficial to test our thinking on the research and innovation power of GW4 with GO Science and BIS colleagues. We look forward to working with them to secure and deliver the great potential we have to offer.”

University of Bath
University of Bristol
Cardiff University
University of Exeter