Reading researchers join new €41 million Climate+ Co-Centre
28 November 2023
A €41.3 million research centre is set to be the new home of research, innovation, and policy development across the interlinked challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and water degradation on the islands of Ireland and Britain.
The Climate+ Co-Centre, which will initially be funded over six years by Science Foundation Ireland, Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, and the Environment & Rural Affairs and UK Research & Innovation, will receive more than 30% co-funding from 29 industry partners. The centre will officially commence operation in January 2024.
The centre, headquartered at Trinity College Dublin, will bring together more than 60 leading researchers from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain. As one of 14 partner academic institutions, the University of Reading will receive £2.5 million over the next six years to carry out climate research. Together, partners will work to deliver the transformative change urgently needed to tackle the climate, biodiversity and water crises impacting the two islands – and the wider world.
Professor Ed Hawkins, climate scientist at the University of Reading and Great Britain lead for the Climate+ Co-Centre, said: “Climate change and biodiversity loss are threats that require coordinated action across national borders. This new multi-country research centre presents a wonderful opportunity for Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Great Britain to pool our scientific expertise to develop innovative solutions to the challenges of climate change, biodiversity decline, and water security that we all face."
The funding was announced by the Irish and UK science ministers, Simon Harris and Michelle Donelan, and comes as part of a £60 million joint UK and Ireland investment to create two new science research centres to look at climate change. One research centre will look at climate, biodiversity and water while the other will be dedicated to researching sustainable and resilient food systems.
Climate+ research will facilitate fair transitions to Net Zero, reverse biodiversity loss, and restore water quality for a sustainable economy. Climate+ researchers will provide urgently required solutions and pathways for sustainable and just transitions in land use for climate, biodiversity and water, seeking to deliver the solutions needed at individual and systemic levels, as well as providing the evidence-based tools to facilitate positive change.
Climate+ researchers will also work with industry partners to identify and validate the innovations needed to thrive in a climate, nature and water-positive world. Specifically, they will collaborate with industry partners in 1) Sustainable AgriFood Transitions; 2) Sustainable Communities & Livelihoods; 3) Assessing Risks & Opportunities; and 4) Investing in Carbon & Nature, in forestry, peatlands, grasslands and coastal habitats.
The Climate+ Co-Centre has emerged from collaborations between multiple academic partners in Ireland and Norther Ireland within the All Island Climate & Biodiversity Research Network, funded by the National Parks & Wildlife Service, together with other partners in the UK.
The Climate+ academic partner institutions are: Trinity College Dublin; Maynooth University; University of Galway; University College Cork; Dublin City University; University College Dublin; Atlantic Technological University; University of Limerick; Queen’s University Belfast; Ulster University; Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute; University of Reading; Newcastle University; UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.