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Welsh universities and Natural Resources Wales lead the way in partnership working

The Chair of Universities Wales and Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) committing to collaboration and cooperation between their organisations.

The memorandum records the understanding of NRW and Wales’ universities to work together to enhance the delivery of mutual objectives and make the best use of available resources by sharing knowledge and information. This will cover a wide range of areas, including training and learning opportunities for NRW staff, workplace experience for students, developing business and innovation and sharing equipment and facilities.

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Left to right: Amanda Wilkinson and Prof. Colin Riordan, Director and Chair of Universities Wales. Dr. Emyr Roberts and Dr. Kathryn Monk, Chief Executive and Principal Adviser for Science, Natural Resources Wales.

Chair of Universities Wales, Professor Riordan said:

“The great strength of our universities is their capacity to be a key agent of change in Wales by creating a strong, knowledge-based economy and society. The MoU that we signed today underlines a shared commitment with Natural Resources Wales to work together wherever we can to achieve this. Whether that is through collaborative cutting-edge research that will protect our fragile environment in Wales, or upskilling and reskilling the existing workforce and providing the excellent graduates that employers need, we look forward to working together for Wales. ”

Commenting on the MoU, Dr Emyr Roberts, Chief Executive of NRW added

Signing

“Natural Resources Wales is very pleased to be part of this partnership and we look forward to working on new ideas as well as building upon the success of existing schemes.”

“As an evidence based organisation, we need to make sure our decisions and actions are underpinned by high quality evidence. We need to keep up-to-date with the latest research and work closely with other organisations to collect and analyse data and constantly keep our environmental evidence base under review.”

NRW, a Welsh Government Sponsored Body, already works with universities in Wales, but this MoU signifies a commitment to increasing collaborative working for not only mutual benefit, but to enhance projects that will benefit Wales as a nation.

Current collaborative work includes a major pan-Wales initiative funded by the Welsh Government and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales – the Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE). The Network supports research in Wales into the interactions between land, water, the provision of food and energy production.

Another current project is being led by Natural Resources Wales in partnership with the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University to develop a new warning system that could reduce the damage caused to Welsh marine industries and native wildlife by non-native creatures in coastal waters. The economic and environmental costs associated with marine non-native species (MNNS) can be mitigated through early detection of invasive MNNS. Researchers from Bangor University and specialists from Natural Resources Wales are working closely with marine and recreation industries in north Wales to spot these species early and report their finds, which will see benefits to their businesses in the long term.