The GW4 Alliance of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter Universities has been profiled as an example of how universities can work together as consortia to increase their individual impact, as part of an independent government review of the UK Research, Development and Innovation Landscape.
Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Paul Nurse, who is also Chancellor of the University of Bristol, has published his independent review for the UK Government into the existing Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) ecosystem, including recommendations to make the most of the UK’s research organisations, ensuring they are effective, sustainable and responsive to global challenges.
GW4 submitted a response to the Nurse review demonstrating how university alliances are a critical and increasing part of the research, development and innovation landscape.
GW4 aims to drive and inspire collaborative research, development and innovation to address major societal and governmental challenges and priorities, and inform policy at national and international levels.
Dr Joanna Jenkinson MBE, GW4 Alliance Director, said: “As a consortium bringing together four of the most research-intensive universities in the UK – Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter – we have the critical expertise, skills and infrastructure required to drive forward research and innovation at pace and scale.
“It is fantastic to see the work we do and the value of our collaborative endeavours recognised in the Nurse Review. We hope this will generate increased support for university alliances so we can continue to be a significant driver for positive change and contribute to economic and societal growth regionally and beyond.”
In addition to providing funding for research and innovation collaborations, GW4 supports technical infrastructure and equipment sharing across the alliance, delivers professional development for early career researchers and technicians, and coordinates with external organisations such as the National Trust, NC3Rs life science clusters, UKRN and the British Academy. GW4 institutions also host over 30 doctoral training partnerships and centres, involving a range of academic and non-academic partners.
GW4’s geography covers both South West England and South Wales and the region is recognised for its world-leading research and innovation. Working with partners such as the pan-regional partnerships the Western Gateway and the Great South West, we are driving innovation and policy change including supporting the regional hydrogen economy to help reach sustainable net zero targets.
The review concludes that universities have an important role to play in helping regions realise and develop their research strengths and they are a major strength of the UK RDI landscape but need increased support to continue to be so.
The review has been published as part of the government’s plan to cement the UK’s place as a science and technology superpower by 2030.