The RRSP brings together five of the region's leading research institutions to help find ways to solve its most pressing rural problems.
It comprises Farnham, Surrey-based Forest Research (the research agency of the Forestry Commission), which will co-ordinate its work, the Universities of Reading, Surrey and Sussex, and the University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester. It is supported by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA).
The RRSP aims to form new communities of multi-disciplinary teams of internationally recognised researchers from top-rated research establishments to address the issues important to the region. New collaborations between the research teams and key regional policymakers and rural stakeholder groups will encourage the generation and use of new research evidence to provide practical and innovative solutions to rural issues.
Despite the UK’s highest density of tertiary education and research establishments, there has not been, until now, any formal rural research network in the South East, despite rural issues being a principal element to the region's distinctiveness. Although the region is densely populated, more than 80% of its land area is classified as rural. One third of its countryside is protected for its landscape quality, and it holds 10% of the UK’s farms.
Peter Bunyan of the University of Surrey explained, "The South East is the economic powerhouse of the UK, and our rural heritage and assets play an important role in that. But one of our big problems is in understanding how we can maintain and improve rural sustainability alongside the demands of economic progress. The South East is a local exemplar of this global paradox. I believe that the RRSP will lead the way to resolving the dilemma through enabling targeted, appropriate research, and in doing so, provide a model transferable to similar areas of the world."
The RRSP also aims to ensure that current research that informs key policy areas is showcased. Dr Anja Ueberjahn-Tritta, the partnership co-ordinator, said, “We want to ensure that researchers already working to underpin rural regional policy have the opportunity to show the region the results from their projects, and the impact that their work can have.”
Phil Eadie, head of the South East England Intelligence Network, added, “I welcome the new partnership as a guiding force to connect research with the key regional priorities. I believe that the partnership will catalyse innovative partnerships, and the knowledge gained from these will support the choice and implementation of the most effective policies.”
The RRSP was launched at an event in London today entitled ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’, which highlighted the key regional priorities that researchers will initially focus on. Findings from the event will be discussed by the research community through a series of research workshops to be held by the partners in the summer and autumn.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Surrey, Professor Christopher Snowden comments: “I very much welcome this initiative, which capitalises on the rich mix of research skills and talents that we have at Surrey and will enable our researchers to contribute in a meaningful way to the region’s development. The RRSP intends to make the dialogue between the research community and policy makers and rural community groups deeper and more vibrant which will really help our researchers to form new, multi-disciplinary research consortia focused on rural issues.”
Stuart Miller | alfa
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences