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What collaboration looks like. Photo by Adrian Watson.

Collaboration with Eden starts to bear fruit

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) recently hosted a Research and Science Day for over 60 Eden Project staff and University researchers.

The event was a follow-up to both the signing of a memorandum of agreement by the University and the Eden Project in October 2014, and to the establishment of a Collaboration Fund to support and catalyse projects between the two signatories.

The day’s main idea was to offer Eden Project staff – whether from science, horticulture, interpretation, events or community engagement teams – the chance to meet similarly diverse University researchers to explore projects that might support the University’s research, teaching and public engagement aspirations as well as the Eden Project’s remit as a leading environmental education charity.

Professor Juliet Osborne, member of the University of Exeter / Eden Partnership Board said: “The day was a great opportunity to explore a huge range of environmental and sustainability research interest between the University and Eden. Ideas ranged from musical proteins and exploring the impacts Eden’s biomes have on plant growth and disease, to the wellbeing and health benefits of being more engaged in nature.”

Gus Grand, the Eden Project’s Head of Policy, said: “The collaboration with the University is a great opportunity to explore our mutual strengths; with the University bringing world-class science to the Eden Project and our ability to innovatively communicate and engage our visitors in complex issues, hopefully delivering positive environmental change.”

Those attending the Science Day will have an opportunity to submit project ideas to be supported through the Collaboration Fund on 9 March. It’s hoped that projects funded in this way will grow to become larger research and public engagement projects in the future.

Date: 9 February 2015