The Minister of State for Climate Change, Gregory Barker MP, has welcomed the opening of a new research institute dedicated to developing solutions for today’s sustainability-related issues.
Mr Barker officially opened the Institute for Sustainability Solutions Research (ISSR) at Plymouth University today, Monday, the first wholly solutions-focussed institute of its kind in the higher education sector.
The ISSR will pull together the expertise of around 200 academics across a wide range of disciplines including international development, health, behaviour change, planning and transport to carbon management and climate change.
Mr Barker said: “Plymouth University’s new sustainability research institute cements its position as a leading centre for innovation and research. The South West is already an area at the forefront of our low carbon future and Plymouth University has a key role to play, not least in the development of marine energy. I look forward to hearing more about the research institute’s work.”
The Minister unveiled a plaque commemorating the opening during his visit, and also took part in a discussion on the South West Marine Energy Park with the region’s key stakeholders and University leaders.
The Institute will harnesses Plymouth’s reputation for sustainability excellence in research, teaching and operations, evidenced by being ranked number 1 in the People and Planet Green League in 2010, winning the Green Gown award for continuous improvement – institutional change in 2011, and with its hosting of the national centre of excellence for sustainability education from 2005-10.
The ISSR is already involved in the development of the new smart ticketing system that could be rolled out across the South West transportation system in the near future.
Professor David Wheeler, Dean of the Plymouth Business School, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business, and Founding Director of the Institute said: “Our focus is for the Institute to build on Plymouth University’s international reputation for supplying impactful research that will in turn provide solutions to the critical environmental, social and economic dilemmas we face.
“Whether it is persuading people to adopt more sustainable transport practices, building strong communities in fragmented societies, or the need to pre-empt and manage natural disasters and climate change – the ISSR will take a multi-disciplinary approach to these challenges.”