UK (University of Dundee) University to establish new Binks Sustainability Institute

The Binks Sustainability Institute has been established with the aid of a substantial donation from the Binks Trust, through Jo and Alison Elliot.

Professor Iain Gillespie, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said, “We are immensely grateful to Jo and Alison for their extremely generous donation.

“This will help create a new Sustainability Institute harnessing excellence in education, research, and engagement from across the University. The energy and insights generated in all of our disciplines will be brought together in exciting ways that will allow us to better address the critical global and local questions we face in achieving environmental sustainability.”

Jo Elliot said, “I am a former member of the University Court, and Alison and I are now delighted to be in a position to help fund this major initiative in pursuit of the University’s strategy to enhance its performance and reputation.”

The Binks Sustainability Institute builds on existing and diverse research and teaching strengths at the University, from sustainable food, energy, and construction materials to environmental governance and urban design for a sustainable future. A highly interdisciplinary institute, it will seek to bring science, engineering, social sciences, arts and humanities together.

The University is host of the UK’s only UNESCO Category 2 centre, which is also the world’s only Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science. The UNESCO Centre works internationally on some of the world’s most urgent problems across multiple sectors and environments and enhances connections to an international network of water scholars.

The University is also home to the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP), which works with undergraduate and postgraduate students to better understand the required global transition from fossil fuels and mineral extraction to a low-carbon energy system and renewables, accessible to all through processes of just transition.

The Binks Sustainability Institute will initially focus on four main themes:

  • Energy and Water:  Environmental science, law and policy
  • Sustainable Design: Ecology futures
  • Sustainable Engineering: Renewables infrastructure, Sustainable materials
  • Food: Sustainable crop sciences (in partnership with the James Hutton Institute)

The Institute will also tie into the work of the University’s Africa Initiative, a ten-year commitment that has already established new and exciting partnerships with six universities in Malawi.

The University is also making a financial investment to establish the Institute and will be recruiting an Academic Director to head the project along with other staff. A new cohort of PhD students will be working across the initial priority research themes.