What do we mean by ‘Sustainability’?
Newcastle University’s definition can be stated in just four words: Enough, for all, forever.
All human beings need enough food, water, heating, electricity and other essential resources, demands for which impact significantly on our planet's precious ecosystems. To meet these demands without further damaging the natural world, we need to become far more efficient in the way we use resources.
Ultimately sustainability is about justice: ensuring a fair share of resources for everyone today and in future generations, throughout our cities and across the world. And this justice must extend to non-human beings too.
Drawing on Newcastle University’s world-leading expertise in the fields of natural and urban environments, agriculture, transport, water, energy, marine technology and clean industrial production, the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability has been established to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Impact of Research
Research Councils (including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, (EPSRC)) are focused on achieving impact. Impact is the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy. Impact embraces all the extremely diverse ways in which research-related knowledge and skills benefit individual, organisations and nations by:
The UK Research Councils highlight that ‘to deliver impact, researchers and businesses need to engage and collaborate with the public, business, government and charitable organisations’. This provides both challenges and pressures to researchers who are seeking to measure the economic and social impact of their work.
Action 2011: Sustainability benefits from EPSRC funding for training in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. EPSRC are supporting the project and EPSRC funded researchers are especially encouraged to take part.
See the quote below from John Baird, Head of Knowledge Transfer at EPSRC:
“EPSRC wishes to ensure increased and accelerated impact and exploitation from EPSRC’s investments. To help increase awareness and encourage innovative approaches to the exploitation of research, since 2007 EPSRC has provided additional (Roberts) funds to support training and/ or course development in the area of entrepreneurship. This funding has increased year on year to £3.2M in 2010. Newcastle’s ACTION 2011 aimed at exploring a sustainability challenge appears to be a welcome step in progressing this important agenda.”