Following the House of Commons event at the end of October, GW4 marked their official launch in Wales with an evening at the Wales Millennium Centre on 25th November 2014.
Several students from the NERC GW4+ DTP attended the event, which provided them with an opportunity to speak to other GW4 partners, industrial partners and academics, as well a brief on recent developments regarding the alliance.
The evening began with a talk from Cardiff University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan who highlighted the aspirations of GW4 in bringing the brightest minds to the region. Prof Riordan mentioned that “key to the success of the alliance is the combined strength formed within the four participating universities” and “[their provision of] equipment and facilities will lead to new and collaborative working partnerships”.
Next to talk was Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter, who emphasised the power of the universities in attracting significant research funding, with a vision for informing policy. Last on the podium was Ken Skates AM, Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism. After a warm welcome Mr Skates spoke of GW4 as a catalyst for growth and innovation in Wales, heaping praise on the alliance’s current successes.
The end of the talks was met with resounding applause, indicating another hugely successful night for the GW4 alliance. In addition, the alliance has recently been granted £8m from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for the South West DTP, comprising the GW4 universities and the world-renowned agricultural institute Rothamstead Research. This partnership will provide a further 114 studentships over five years to tackle challenges in agriculture and food security.
Written by: Michael Hodge, NERC GW4+ DTP PhD Student (Cardiff University)