This is a special Director's update for me, as it will be my last. I am starting a new role from next month as Executive Director, leading strategic planning, evidence and engagement, for UKRI-BBSRC.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at GW4, working with colleagues across the Alliance, developing the team and creating new partnerships. I would like to thank everyone involved. Together we have achieved so much in the four years I have been with GW4 - driving nearly £50M in research income and over double that in doctoral training income to our partner institutions.
To date we have funded and supported over 90 collaborative research communities, addressing some of society’s biggest questions and global challenges and delivering real work impact. For every £1 GW4 spends on collaborative research communities, we capture an impressive £15 in external research awards. Plus, this figure is growing as our communities develop and create more opportunities for further joint funding bids and new partnerships. The collective impact of GW4 has developed flagship communities of research excellence such as the GW4 Water Security Alliance - one of the largest water research consortia in the world, plus strong partnerships at scale including our research partnership with the National Trust, and the NC3Rs. GW4 is also launching two new Alliances, harnessing GW4's globally recognised research strengths and world-leading facilities and assets in the areas of Climate and Antimicrobial resistance. Our doctoral training programmes are going from strength to strength and we continue to support our early career researchers with schemes such as GW4 Crucible and the ECR Symposiums. I am also proud of our new initiative GW4WARD, designed to enhance and drive forward the professional development of technical staff across the Alliance. From the launch of the Western Gateway to the continued focus on the importance of place and the ‘levelling up agenda’, the opportunities for GW4 to play a central role in our region are abundant.
I will miss GW4 and everyone I have had the pleasure to work with, but I know the Alliance will continue to grow and prosper. Partnership working is characteristically challenging. However across the Alliance, colleagues consistent commitment to realising success through collaboration has made being part of GW4 a privilege and immense fun. I also wish to thank the GW4 team for their hard work and enthusiasm. GW4 is in a strong and exciting position. I look forward to hearing about GW4's continuing success as it delivers its vision for world-class collaborative research and innovation on a regional, national and global scale.