The University of Brighton is also showing ways forward in reaching out to local communities. Its pioneering Centre for Arts and Wellbeing, for example, has widened cultural engagement by giving disadvantaged local people access to creative technologies and expert inspiration. Working with a leading Brighton-based mental health charity, meanwhile, the university will this year provide pioneering postgraduate counselling training for QTIPoC and LGBTQ BAME candidates.
Responding to climate change, Brighton's Green Growth Platform is an award-winning business-innovation network supporting businesses to develop green products and services – with a 1,000-plus membership that has already created 300 green economy jobs and 70 new products/services.
As South East Regional Hub of Clean Growth UK, the platform also supports thousands of businesses across the UK to innovate and grow in an environmentally-aware manner. Brighton is also playing an important role in the newly-launched Hydrogen Sussex initiative, a key plank of the city and wider region's move toward a low emission circular economy.
The university works with local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help drive innovation and growth through a range of programmes, the most recent being its Brighton Research Innovation Technology Exchange (BRITE) project, a collaborative project delivered in partnership with Plus X Brighton. Collaborations are encouraged via the state-of-the-art Plus X Brighton innovation hub, which supports SMEs through programmes created by the university and based on its world-leading research.
Noel Sesto, Director of Control Freq Ltd, has taken part in one of these programmes as part of the BRITE programme, and said: "The university's INSPIRE programme has helped enormously in our transition, pivoting from a web-based company, to a solutions focused company. We were able to apply the methodology learned in our workshops, and with the support of our INSPIRE Coach, create an open innovation Action Plan. It has made the previously intangible possible - a focused growth plan to help realise our ambitions.“
Brighton also undertakes a raft of world-class science and engineering research to enable a more positive future. The Dolphin N2 engine developed by the university's renowned Advanced Engineering Centre is one example. Considered one of the world's most significant recent advances in engine design, it combines high-efficiency with near-zero emissions of harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx), while using sustainable fuels made from everyday wastes.
Speaking to the University Alliance, Simon Brewster, CEO of Dolphin N2, said: “We knew the technology had world-leading efficiency, but it was the research at Brighton that also showed incredibly low levels of NOx emissions. Without this discovery, the technology could still be seen as a dirty engine – with it, it can compete side-by-side with so-called zero emission power - except our engine is cheaper.”
An ideal exemplar of the benefits of bringing together innovation, expertise and a commitment to drive a better future.