Eastern Arc welcomes University of Sussex

  • Date

    Thu 11 Jan 24

Professor Sasha Roseneil from the University of Sussex signs MOU to join Eastern Arc watched by Professor Anthony Forster, Professor David Maguire and Professor Karen Cox

The University of Sussex has joined the universities of East Anglia, Essex and Kent to become the fourth member of the Eastern Arc research consortium.

At a ceremony at the Royal Society in London, the vice-chancellors of the four universities signed a memorandum of understanding that will support joint working in research, education, innovation, knowledge exchange, training, and equipment-sharing.

Launched in 2013, Eastern Arc has grown to be a significant regional catalyst for collaboration and cooperation, resulting in over £10m of funding for partnerships between two or more of the member institutions since 2020.

Essex Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: "This marks a new era for Eastern Arc and highlights our ambitions to work together to benefit our region. Eastern Arc has helped us drive forward our shared research agenda and this agreement will increase our combined research capacity and allow us to further develop important collaborative projects. Our researchers have very much benefited from building networks through Eastern Arc and this expands those opportunities."

The Consortium has increasingly advocated for and led on issues of particular importance to the greater southeast of England, including coastal deprivation, food, diet and nutrition, and heritage, culture and placemaking. A series of Eastern Arc events has brought together academics and stakeholders to explore these issues, leading to reports which are helping policymakers and directing our future collaborations.

Within the universities, it has supported the development of a positive research culture, opening up training across the consortium, launching an Imaging Platform Alliance, and establishing an innovative mentoring scheme that has matched over 230 academics, technicians and professional services staff for their professional development.

"I am delighted to welcome Sussex to the consortium,’ said Phil Ward, Director of Eastern Arc. "The University, with its open, interdisciplinary and creative outlook, is a natural fit with us. It shares a similar geographic location and complementary research strengths but, just as importantly, it has the same ethos, encouraging interdisciplinarity and being ‘disruptive by design’."

In 2024 the Consortium will develop its strategy for the next five years, supporting the creative, civic and impactful work of its members, and ensuring that the work of regional, dual-intensive universities plays a central role in addressing the key issues that face the country.