Natural capital for clean growth | Research Festival 2020

This event took place on Thursday 23 January 2020.

The South West has a wealth of untapped potential as a natural resource centre with a national offer, particularly for emerging sectors. How can these assets be harnessed for clean growth?

In this session Professor Iain Stewart and Dr Ian Selby from the Sustainable Earth Institute will take a national view, but with an eye to the remarkable onshore and offshore natural assets of the South-West, which lie above and below ground – the ecosystems, landscapes, soils, minerals, waves, winds and tides.  

These natural assets are connected to the heart of the Industrial Strategy, and are critical for UK competitiveness and resilience, sustainable development, decarbonisation and the climate emergency.

We plan to link sectors that rarely mix and explore governance, energy, infrastructure, georesources, policy and investment through diverse lively presentations, insights and stimulating debate with a connected and informed audience.

We are delighted to welcome keynotes from Maf Smith (Deputy CEO at Renewable UK), Rob Booth (General Counsel and Company Secretary at The Crown Estate), Jeremy Wrathall (CEO at Cornish Lithium Ltd), Iliana Portugues (Head of Innovation at National Grid), and Sir Tim Smit KBE (Co-Founder and Executive Vice-Chair at Eden Project). 

Along with their insights, there will be commentary by diverse expert panels and open Q&A sessions, the meeting promises to explore new territory with the ambition to identify opportunities and forge new linkages across sectors through clarifying common elements, highlighting new directions & defining next steps.

Morning programme

09:30 | Welcome by Professor Judith Petts CBE, Vice Chancellor, University of Plymouth

09:40 | Presentation: What do we mean? Linking Natural Capital & Clean Growth in the South West? by Professor Iain Stewart and Dr Ian Selby

09:55 | Keynote: Governance by Rob Booth, General Counsel, The Crown Estate

10:15 | Panel discussion on local industrial strategy, national policy, and legal perspective – Caroline Carroll, Local Industry Strategy Manager at Cornwall Council; Josie Gough, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; and Jason Lowther, Associate Professor in Law.

10:45 | Break

11:00 | Keynote: Renewable Energy by Maf Smith, Deputy Chief Executive at Renewable UK

11:20 | Panel discussion on current renewable energy projects with Professor Deborah Greaves, Professor of Ocean Engineering and Director of the COAST Laboratory; Commodore Steve Jermy, Chair of WaveHub Ltd ; and Simon Cheeseman, Sector LEad - Wave and Tidal Energy at ORE Catapult.

11:50 | Keynote: Georesources by Jeremy Wrathall, CEO at Cornish Lithium

12:10 | Panel discussion on current Georesources, smart mining and geothermal projects with Dr Ian SelbyFrances Wall, Professor of Applied Mineralogy at Camborne School of Mines; and Peter Ledingham, Managing Director at Geoscience Ltd

12:40 | Lunch


13:40 | Keynote: Infrastructure & Landscape Assets by Iliana Portugués, Head of Innovation at National Grid

14:00 | Panel discussion on planning and business with Ellie Inglis Woolcock, Principal Development Officer at Cornwall Council; Professor Mel Austen, Head of Science - Sea and Society at Plymouth Marine Laboratory and member of UK Government Natural Capital Committee; and Deborah Boden, World Heritage Site Co-ordinator at Cornwall Mining WHS.

14:30 | Keynote: Vision for the Future by Sir Tim Smit KBE, Co-Founder & Executive Vice-Chair at Eden Project.

14:50 | Panel review Bringing it together & looking ahead – key elements, new directions & next steps with Professor Iain StewartDr Ian Selby, and science and research direction and business response with Susan Waldron, Director, Research & Skills and Strategic Partnerships at NERC; and Tim Jones, Chair at South West Business Council.

15:15 | Networking

Who is this event for?
This event will be of most interest to those who work in sectors related to mining, renewable energy, environmental management and care, councils and planners, LEP, and governance. It may also appeal to those in tourism or NGOs, or just interested public.

Sustainable Earth Institute 

The Sustainable Earth Institute is about promoting a new way of thinking about the future of our world.

We bring researchers together with businesses, community groups and individuals to develop cutting-edge research and innovative approaches that build resilience to global challenges. 

We link diverse research areas across the University including science, engineering, arts, humanities, health and business.

Find out more about the institute

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