To date (June 2021) the GW4 Alliance has invested over £3.1m in 112 collaborative research communities, which have generated nearly £50m in research income. This means that for every £1 GW4 spends on collaborative research communities, GW4 captures an impressive £16 in external research awards.

The GW4 Alliance has adopted the Russell Group Research Integrity Statement of cooperation in cross-institutional research misconduct allegations, which aims to support the efforts of researcher communities to foster research integrity (also known as good practice in research or the responsible conduct of research).

Explore our GW4 research communities by keyword or theme. (All communities are also listed below in order of award date with newest first).

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Aerospace and Advanced Engineering

Creative and Cultural Economy

Digital Innovation

Living Well

New Energy Systems

Next Generation Microelectronics

Resilience, Environment and Sustainability

Network for critical engagement with the defence establishment


Project period: January – March 2018 

GW4 Community Leads 

University of Bath: Paul Higate 

University of Bristol: Tim Edmunds  

Cardiff University: Victoria Basham (PI) and Huw Bennett  

University of Exeter: Owen Thomas 

Project outcomes
Our network will foster dialogue on how dissenting voices on defence and security are articulated in Britain, and on how that dissent can be received productively by policy-makers and the wider public. 

GW4 Network on Advanced Molecular Platforms for Plastic Photonic Technologies (AMPHOTECH)

Accelerator Fund

Project period: July 2016 – March 2017

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: G. Dan Pantos
University of Bristol: Sara Nunez-Sanchez, Ruth Oulton, Martin James Cryan
Cardiff University: Stephen A Lynch
University of Exeter: William Leslie Barnes (PI) 

Project overview

We will address the development of photonic applications for molecular materials by combining multidisciplinary expertise and perspective from the four South West Universities (Exeter, Bristol, Cardiff and Bath) including plasmonicsnanophotonics, quantum photonics, ultrafast spectroscopy or supramolecular chemistry. 

Controlling Nucleation & Growth to Deliver Novel Materials Functionality


Project period: May to November 2015 

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Johannes Zimmer (PI) 
University of Bristol: Isaac Chenchiah
Cardiff University: Stefano Leoni
University of Exeter: David Wright 

Project overview

The aim of our interdisciplinary community is to take an integrative approach combining theoretical modelling, experiments and simulations to advance the state of the art in nucleation and crystallization theory. 

Functional Materials Far from Equilibrium


Project period: October 2014 – January 2015 

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Johannes Zimmer (PI), Chris Bowen
University of Bristol: Isaac Chenchiah
Cardiff University: Nicolas Dirr
University of Exeter: David Wright

Project overview

This collaboration brings together all GW4 universities to nucleate a new community that will address an important bottleneck in the development of novel technological devices: the nonequilibrium evolution of material microstructure and its impact on macroscopic material behaviour. 

Unlocking the Science for an Autonomous Structural Health Monitoring System


Project period: October 2014 – April 2015 

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Alicia Kim
University of Bristol: Stephen Hallett
Cardiff University: Carol Featherston (PI) 
University of Exeter: Meiling Zhu 

Project overview

The primary vision of this collaboration is to become a world leading research consortium that advances the state of the art in wireless Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) in composite structures by bringing together the unique combination of expertise within GW4. 

Composites for Enhanced Lightning Performance


Project period: May – July 2014

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Richard Butler
University of Bristol: Fabrizio Scarpa
Cardiff University: Manu Haddad
University of Exeter: Chris Smith

Project overview

This project addresses the ‘Advanced Materials’ grand challenge through the development of innovative lightweight materials and coatings with improved mechanical and electrical properties under lightning strike for the aerospace sector.