From 2 March, the Valuing Nature Programme is running a three-day Business Impact School to provide early career researchers with an opportunity to gain insight into producing research with business impact. The Natural Environment Research Council is funding this School to help develop a Valuing Nature research community with a broader understanding of how to translate research into private sector decision making and innovation.
The event is being hosted by Willis Towers Watson in the City of London. Business speakers include Willis Towers Watson, Nestle, United Utilities, National Grid, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, Aldersgate Group, Interserve, Intelligent Health and the Satellite Applications Catapult. Participants will have opportunities to interact with speakers, including a ‘hands-on’ session on designing research for business impact.
The School includes field trips to Windsor Great Park to see how natural capital accounting has been implemented, and to the National Grid Environmental Education Centre at Iver to see valuing nature-based education services in practice.
The 25 participants are current UK PhD students or have been recently awarded PhDs. Their areas of research interest include investment in ecosystem services from urban forests, links between ecological health and human health, and measuring the green economy.
Rosie Hails, Director of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Science at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, and Head of the Valuing Nature Programme Coordination Team said, “This is an exciting opportunity for earlier career researchers to be exposed to business decision making and to gain insight into how to co-design research projects to enhance business impact.”
Olivia Darby, Chief Operating Officer of the Capital, Science & Policy Practice at Willis Towers Watson said “We are delighted to host this stimulating event to introduce early career researchers to a range of business perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of the sustainable growth agenda.”
Guy Duke, Business Champion for the Valuing Nature Programme Coordination Team said, “There is a huge amount of interest among researchers in how businesses use research on the value of nature; we had over 80 applications for the 25 School places and the standard of applications was high.”