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The University of Exeter's Environment and Sustainability Institute leads cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research into solutions to problems of environmental change; in so doing we are enhancing people's lives by improving their relationships with the environment.

Unlike many research institutes around the world, the ESI is not a virtual entity. Physically located on the University’s Penryn Campus, near Falmouth, the research centre brings together state-of-the-art resources with leading academics and researchers in a brand new BREEAM Outstanding* rated building. 

The ESI builds on the University's established research strengths. Alongside this we are working with businesses in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and beyond to translate research and expertise into innovative business practices, products and services.

The ESI has been enabled by a £30 million investment from the EU European Regional Development Fund (£22.9m) and the South West Regional Development Agency (£6.6m).

The ESI is headed by inaugural Director and award-winning ecologist Professor Kevin J Gaston.

Visit our new Resources page to download ESI publications and to join us online.

The University of Exeter’s new £5.5 million Science and Engineering Research Support Facility (SERSF) is bringing pioneering business, science and engineering together at the Penryn Campus.

SERSF, which will be officially opened in late October, offers a home for the University of Exeter Business School as it expands into Cornwall for the first time during the 2015/2016 academic year. There is also space for the University’s existing Marine Renewables team and the growing Centre for Ecology and Conservation (CEC).

The building features a specially designed area for business engagement called ‘The Collaboratory’, from which dedicated staff, along with the University’s Knowledge Exchange team, will lead a number of long-term research projects with selected local business partners. Laboratories for offshore renewables and biosciences will enable an expansion of the research led by the Marine Renewables team and CEC.

Additional offices provide flexible space for those engaged in both research and teaching across the disciplines housed within the building.

The two-storey, 1200m2 SERSF building is located next to the Daphne du Maurier building, near to the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute and the Tremough Innovation Centre, which is located adjacent to the Penryn Campus.

As with previous investments at the campus, the aim is to grow the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, creating jobs and wealth by building on existing education and research assets, and supporting the development of high-value businesses, people, knowledge, investment and research.

The SERSF has been enabled by investment from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme (£3.9 million) and £1.6 million from the University of Exeter.

Work on the SERSF building began in March 2014. The building has been designed to a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating - a measure of environmental sustainability.

The Centre was launched in May 2011, with support from the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund.

The Centre focuses on the interconnections between the environment, human health and wellbeing, specifically on emerging threats from climate change, chemical pollutants (including pharmaceuticals and nanomaterials) and antibiotic-resistant pathogens. It also explores the benefits to health and wellbeing from time spent in the natural environment, particularly in relation to coastal areas.

National and international collaborations with business, government and the third sector are key to the Centre’s work. Through collaborative research, PhD projects, forums and other mechanisms, the Centre’s academics are working with enterprise to produce findings that will have local and global applications.

Centre staff work closely with leading research centres across Europe, in North America, India, and China; they also serve as experts on national and international advisory bodies such as the World Health Organisation, and publish extensively in high-impact  internationally peer reviewed journals.

The Centre is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013 and European Social Fund Convergence Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The Centre’s research is also supported by national research councils, major charities, international businesses and national governments.