Following an official invitation from the Baroness Randerson and the Vice-Chancellors of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter, a group of NERC GW4+ DTP students attended the GW4 Launch Event in the Terrace Pavilion of the House of Commons on 29th October 2014.
The event celebrated the first 18 months of successful collaboration between the four big universities in the South West – Bristol, Bath, Cardiff, and Exeter – as part of the GW4 (Great Western 4) Alliance. A key element of that alliance is the NERC GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership, of which we are the first cohort of students to start in 2014.
The Baroness Randerson opened the event with a speech welcoming all attendees and emphasising the importance of innovative collaboration in the academic world, followed by Professor Colin Riordan, the Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University and Chair of GW4’s Council, who talked about the successes GW4 has achieved so far and future plans for the alliance. Professor Ian Hall, Acting Director of the NERC GW4+ DTP, introduced the Doctoral Training Partnership and spoke of how the DTP kicked off with the Orientation Event in Newquay and plans for the coming months, such as the Associate Partner Event and Innovation Training in January 2015. The final speech was by Iain Gray, Chief Executive of Innovate UK, who officially launched the GW4 Alliance.
The event was very well attended by representatives from industry, business, academia,charities and the public sector, including many of the Associate Partners of the NERC GW4+ DTP. There were also several MPs and members of the House of Lords present and quite a few famous people such as Nobel Prize laureate Sir Martin Evans and Baroness Floella Benjamin, Chancellor of the University of Exeter and former children’s TV presenter. All in all, it was a very interesting and enjoyable evening and it was great to have the opportunity to represent the NERC GW4+ DTP students at the Houses of Parliament!
Written by: Erik Mackie, NERC GW4+ DTP PhD Student (University of Bristol)