£8m boost to green business growth in East Sussex

The University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform and East Sussex County Council are launching an £8m-plus initiative to support the growth of green businesses.

The Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE) project is funded by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund and is a partnership between Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council, Essex County Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Thurrock Council and the University of Brighton. It will receive a total of £8.8 million to support business growth across Kent, Essex and East Sussex.

The programme will provide grants and business support to low carbon small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them grow and develop new products and services. It will also provide grants and free environmental audits to any type of SME to help improve their environmental performance, such as reducing energy costs or installing renewable energy systems.

The programme will also be providing support to the community energy sector, and will be developing renewable energy and low carbon projects across the county.
In East Sussex, the programme is open to SMEs which pay their business rates to Eastbourne Borough Council, Hastings Borough Council, Lewes District Council, Rother District Council and Wealden District Council.

Zoe Osmond, Director of the Green Growth Platform

Zoe Osmond, Director of the Green Growth Platform

Zoe Osmond, Director of the Green Growth Platform, said: “We are delighted to announce this funding for East Sussex businesses. It will make a significant contribution to business growth and innovation in the region, as well as help in reducing our environmental impact and moving us towards a low carbon economy.”
Businesses can find out more and register for the support by visiting the Green Growth Platform, emailing greengrowthplatform@brighton.ac.uk or calling the Green Growth Platform on 01273 641949.

An award winning dissertation

imogen-foxHuge congratulations to Imogen Fox, who has just graduated from our Geography BA(Hons) course for her award-winning dissertation!

Imogen’s dissertation on how she supported a friend with special needs won the Royal Geographical Society’s Social and Cultural Geography Research Groups Undergraduate Dissertation Award and £100 prize money. Titled ‘Meltdowns in the mud – a spatial, emotional and relationship approach to the experience of care in the micro-spatialities of Glastonbury Festival’ Imogen wrote an account of her experience in supporting her friend Rona when the pair attended the Glastonbury Festival this summer.

“I am in complete shock and disbelief about winning the prize,” said Imogen. “I feel extremely grateful for all the amazing support I received from both academic staff from my course at the university who have boosted my confidence in my own academic abilities and also my wonderful dyslexia tutor who kept me calm throughout the writing process.”

Imogen also praised the Sussex organisation which teamed her up with “my new close friend” Rona, Gig Buddies, which matches adults who have a learning disabilities to volunteers who have similar interests, to go to events together that they both love.

Imogen, now studying for her MSc in Social Work, said: “I question the word and activity of ‘care’ because that ‘care’ goes both ways and is often an act of friendship, thus defining mine and Rona’s relationship as a ‘muddy relationship’ which can be impacted upon differently in different spaces.”

What’s Geography got to do with it?

kath-browne-inaugral-lectureWhat’s Geography got to do with it? Sexualities, Gender and Place
Inaugural lecture from Professor Kath Browne.

Geography is often associated with maps and mountains.  This lecture asks for a different consideration of what geography has to offer and shows it to be crucial to understanding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) lives.

Professor Browne starts by using her work on women who are mistaken for men and their exclusions from public toilets designated for females to explore how places are an integral part of understanding sexed bodies.  However, inclusion that rests on sameness and fitting LGBTQ people into the ‘normal’ is not enough. Thus, the possibilities and limits of equalities laws are illustrated by looking at Brighton, the ‘gay capital of the UK’, and then transnationally at what makes lives liveable in the UK and India. The lecture then turns its focus to transnational ‘heteroactivism’, resistances to LGBTQ rights, that are often overlooked, but are key to engaging with the fallout from Brexit, as well as Global North same-sex marriage debates.

Kath Browne
Professor of Human Geography

Wednesday 26 October 2016 at 6.30 pm.
Sallis Benney Lecture Theatre
Grand Parade

Free event. All are welcome. If you would like to attend please register online no later than 48 hours prior to the event.

British Science Festival heads for Brighton

british-science-festival-logoOne of Europe’s leading and longest established science festivals is coming to Brighton next year. And we will be co-hosting it!

The University of Brighton will co-host the 2017 British Science Festival with the University of Sussex from 5-8 September.

The festival, organised by the British Science Association, will have a programme of over 100 events featuring cutting-edge science from world-leading academics covering everything from technology and engineering to social sciences.

Welcoming the announcement, Vice-Chancellor Professor Debra Humphris said: “I am delighted that the University of Brighton will be co-hosting the British Science Festival next year. We were keen to grasp this wonderful opportunity to showcase our world-leading research alongside cutting-edge science from around the globe in an accessible and engaging way.

“The city of Brighton & Hove is world-renowned for its Arts Festival. By hosting the British Science Festival, we can throw open the doors of our facilities to the wider community, including our new state-of-the-art Advanced Engineering Building that is currently under construction.”

We’ll keep you posted as more details are confirmed, and hope to see you all there!

University building scoops top award

The project to refurbish the University of Brighton’s iconic Cockcroft Building has won in the Higher Education category of the prestigious Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards 2016.

The Cockcroft Building on the University’s Moulsecoomb campus has been a familiar landmark on Brighton’s Lewes Road since the 1960’s.

The awards jury said: “This is a bold project, particularly from a sustainability point of view – and a model for future similar projects. It focuses well on how people use the building. The exterior has been elegantly improved and the interior creatively revamped.”

Welcoming the award, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris said: “This is really excellent news and I congratulate the team involved in this major project. The refurbishment of the Cockcroft Building is an important part of our ongoing investment programme which aims to ensure that our students have access to world-class facilities.”

The multi-million pound refurbishment programme, which took three years to complete, was carried out whilst the building was still being used by staff and students and included:
• Development of state-of-the-art new learning laboratories and office spaces to house schools within the university’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences
• Installation of new windows to improve insulation throughout the building
• Exposing the ceiling space to highlight the architectural features of the building’s interior
• Opening up corridors in the building to improve lighting, people movement and provide social and informal learning spaces for students and staff to use.
• Reducing noise levels by putting in place sound buffering and dampening features
• Installing a new roof surface to improve insulation and energy efficiency.


Pricing Place: Studying Science & Technology in Human Geography – Paul Gilbert

A lot of the work that I do falls into the interdisciplinary field called ‘Science & Technology Studies’, which involves studying how technology and scientific expertise both shapes and is shaped by society and space.

Over the summer, I attended the meetings of the Society for Social Studies of Science and the European Association for the Study of Science & Technology in Barcelona. Work in Science & Technology Studies often crosscuts the concerns of human geographers, geologists, and even engineers. A good example of this kind of work at the Barcelona conference comes from Jessica Smith, an anthropologist at the Colorado School of Mines. Smith has examined how geologists and mine engineers adjust when they move away from applying their expertise to the ‘underground’ aspects of mining, and work with other experts in community relations departments that deal with ‘overground’ social and spatial issues, such as deciding where to site a mine or a drilling pad.

pricing-place-blog-imageMy own work also involves studying how geologists and engineers (and other experts like lawyers and financial analysts) shape the social world. At Barcelona, I presented on a track called ‘Turning Things into Assets’. In my paper, I tried to show how geological knowledge about a mineral deposit gets turned into something that people want to invest in, based on the belief it will produce revenue in the future. While a big part of mine valuation depends on geological information about resources and reserves, the value of a mine also depends on how confident investors feel they can be that they will receive profits from it in the future.

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PhD research findings taken up by leading humanitarian organisations

Emanuele SozziDr Emanuele Sozzi, pictured (right) with one of his supervisors, Professor Huw Taylor, returned to the UK this summer to celebrate the award of his University of Brighton PhD degree at our summer awards ceremony.

Emanuele began working with Huw’s team in Haiti following the 2010 cholera epidemic, where as a Médecins Sans Frontières engineer he was charged with finding a way to provide safer sanitation in the country’s emergency cholera treatment centres.

University of Brighton academics worked with Emanuele to develop these ideas further and he soon joined our school’s Environment and Public Health Research Group on a full-time basis to develop the research as part of his University of Brighton postgraduate research studies.

The novel findings from this work are now being taken up by leading humanitarian organisations around the world and have recently led to the school gaining financial support from USAID and the Body Shop Foundation to develop the ideas further.

Emanuele is now a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the USA, though he continues to collaborate closely with the Brighton team.