New strategic partnership launched between GW4 Alliance of universities and the Western Gateway

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A new strategic partnership between the GW4 Alliance of universities and the Western Gateway powerhouse has been announced, strengthening collaborative activities that will drive green and economic regional growth.

The two parties have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding that will bring together the GW4 universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter – four of the most research-intensive and innovative universities in the country – with the UK’s first pan-regional partnership.

GW4 identifies areas of complementary expertise across its institutions to develop research communities at scale which address major global and industrial challenges, from net-zero, climate change and sustainability to antimicrobial resistance.

The Western Gateway brings together business, academia and government from both sides of the union to work together in partnership to create new opportunities for the 4.4 million people who live within its borders, which reach from Swansea, Cardiff and Newport to Cheltenham and Gloucester, Bristol and Bath, to Swindon and Salisbury.

This new partnership will reach across two countries, working together through shared expertise and knowledge to power mutual projects that aim to level up communities and help the world achieve a net-zero carbon economy faster.

Katherine Bennett, chair of the Western Gateway partnership, said: “This is a great opportunity for our area to use the knowledge and expertise of our great universities to work together to tackle some of the biggest challenges that we face.

“We already work together closely on many projects, such as our bid to bring the country’s first fusion prototype plant to the area to use our skills to unlock this vital green fuel and level up communities at risk of being left behind across the union. I look forward to working together on many projects to boost the potential of our communities and help unlock new fuels and growth for the UK.”

Professor Lisa Roberts, chair of GW4 Council, and vice-chancellor and chief executive at the University of Exeter, said: “Collaboration lies at the heart of the GW4 Alliance and I am delighted that we are working with the Western Gateway on a shared ambition for the South West and Wales area.

“By combining our experience and knowledge, we hope to build inclusive, prosperous and sustainable societies while creating regional economic growth.”

The new strategic partnership has been announced at the first powerhouse conference for South Wales and Western England, Green Growth in the Western Gateway. Business leaders and politicians are convening at the event, taking place in Newport.

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