The new GW4 Alliance (between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter) – which collaboratively ‘brings together four of the most research-intensive and innovative universities in the UK’ – is being championed by the co-founder of the Eden Project, Sir Tim Smit KBE.
GW4’s research consortium will ‘tackle the global challenge of climate change’ by uniting experts from across the four universities to deliver ‘world-leading climate science, help shape policy and contribute to positive and equitable social change’.
Smit sees universities as ‘guardians of knowledge’, able to ‘find solutions that might radically shake up the way we work together, the platforms we create, the way we go for funding’.
Co-chair of the Climate Alliance, Professor Marcelle McManus (University of Bath), says the consortium’s experts have ‘a passion and a drive to make the changes needed’. “We have never seen a more pressing time for climate action. Extreme weather events are becoming more common, and the magnitude of the impacts of climate change and climate injustice are only beginning to be understood. Now is the time for action.”
I truly believe that by working together in revolutionary interdisciplinary ways, we can create emergence
In his keynote presentation at GW4’s opening event, Smit made ‘a rallying cry’ for universities to ‘become visionaries’ and lead the way towards climate solutions. He called on GW4 researchers to ‘start to see themselves as being the trouble shooters for the nation’.
“I think the skill of GW4 is to treat this research alliance not as a normal research program, but as the beginning of a huge adventure to transform our country.
“I truly believe that by working together in revolutionary interdisciplinary ways, we can create emergence.”