News and Views

UCC & University of Plymouth agree climate research partnership

29 Jul 2022
Dr Jerry Murphy, School of Engineering & Architecture, UCC, Stephen Byrne, Deputy President and Registrar, UCC, Prof Sarah Culloty, Head, College of SEFS, UCC, Anthony Payne, Strategic Director for Place, Plymouth City Council, Prof John O'Halloran, President, UCC, Ann Doherty, Chief Executive, Cork City Council, Jerry Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, University of Plymouth , Kevin Forshaw, Director of Industrial and Strategic Partnerships, University of Plymouth, Deborah Greaves, Head of School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics and Director of the Offshore Renewable Energy Supergen, University of Plymouth, Paul Moynihan, Director of Corporate Affairs & International Relations, Cork City Council, Alex Nimmo Smith, Deputy Director of the Marine Institute

University College Cork (UCC) and the University of Plymouth have agreed to work together to address some of the critical climate and sustainability challenges facing our planet.

The partnership will be dedicated to building resilient coastal communities, assist economic sectors with energy transitions and develop opportunities in the blue economy.

The first initiative under the agreement, inspired by last year’s COP26 summit, early career researchers will be funded to conduct climate research at both the University of Plymouth and UCC. These researchers will be jointly supervised by academic staff from both institutions so they can benefit from the combined expertise of the two universities.

The partnership will build on the universities’ reputations for world-leading and award-winning marine, sustainability research and teaching. The two institutions have made significant investments in sustainability, environmental and marine research over many years and have built up substantial capacity in these areas as a result.

UCC is one of Ireland’s leading universities in the area of climate, marine and sustainability research and is home to the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) and MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine research and innovation. The University of Plymouth is one of the world’s top five universities for marine research and teaching, and among the top 5% of global universities for its commitment to sustainability, while Marine Institute is the first and largest such institute in UK university.

Commenting on the partnership, President of UCC, Professor John O’Halloran stated “Climate change is a global emergency. The collaboration aims to address some of the key climate challenges and opportunities of our time, while inspiring and nurturing the next generation of innovative and pioneering researchers.”

Professor Judith Petts CBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Plymouth and lead of Universities UK’s Climate Task and Finish Group, said: This exciting strategic partnership will capitalise on our institutions’ complementary research and innovation strengths and assets. Through collaboration, and with the support of our two cities, we will advance the development of our researchers and the essential responses to the global challenges of sustainability and climate change.

Professor Sarah Culloty, Head of College, Science, Engineering and Food Science at UCC stated “I am delighted to welcome this historic partnership between University College Cork and the University of Plymouth. We can only rise to the challenges presented by the climate crisis through global cooperation. This collaboration will enable a new generation of researchers to tackle climate change through a unique doctoral programme that will strengthen both our institutions and benefit the planet.”


University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF