Mission and strategy

Sampling at sea HWU researchers in the field Sigma 2015 HWU researchers in a porthole window

HWU and the BGS have joined forces to create a new research centre for earth and marine science and technology. Based at Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh campus, The Lyell Centre will be one of Europe's leading centres for research and expertise in the earth and marine sciences.

The centre represents a unique opportunity to unify the respective strengths of the BGS and HWU in earth and marine science and technology. Joint collaboration with key strategic partners across the UK will enable even greater synergy, creating a leading European centre for research and innovation at the core of marine science and geoscience, drawing on HWU's strengths in computer science, mathematics and engineering.

Jointly funded by UK and Scottish funders — NERC, SFC and HWU — The Lyell Centre will create a central platform for innovation, built around Grand Research Challenges and supported by a portfolio of income from multiple sources and embedded in a powerful global strategy. The new fusion of pure and applied expertise between HWU and the BGS provides an opportunity to develop and use innovative methods and new technologies to facilitate real-world solutions to address global challenges associated with the Earth's surface, sub-surface, oceans and atmosphere. Its work will be both socially and industrially relevant, nationally and internationally.

RD2 in the marine operations workshop

With this broad scope the centre aims to:

  • spark novel and transformative ideas beyond traditional boundaries
  • encourage new quality of science culture
  • create a vibrant home for a new generation of academic leaders, at junior to senior level, and students
  • become a focal point of engagement for internal and external experts, and a hotspot for communication, knowledge exchange and advice for non-academic stakeholders, policy makers and society

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