Regional Impact from Science of the Environment


The Regional Impact from Science of the Environment (RISE) initiative follows on from the Environmental Science Impact Programme (ESIP), with a continued focus on developing regional impact from environmental science. This ambition was clearly articulated in the government's Industrial Strategy - external link, one of its five foundations being places, along with ideas, people, infrastructure and business environment.


RISE is dedicated to bringing research organisations together with businesses, policy bodies and other actors contributing to economic development specific to their location, to deliver significant regional impact from NERC environmental science.

NERC invited research organisations with a strong and substantial portfolio of NERC-funded research to apply through RISE calls for a five-year programme of activity with a NERC contribution of £2·5 million - £4 million at 80% full economic cost. Four projects worth £17 million have now been funded that will use NERC research to boost UK local economies.

Focus for the programme

The call was shaped within the scope of the UK Industrial Strategy. Applicants were encouraged to take a flexible, multi-disciplinary and creative approach to delivering against the purpose of this initiative. As was the case with ESIP, programmes were to be designed to support the strategic ambitions of the research organisation(s) involved, while understanding and gaining benefit from the opportunities offered by their region.

This programme has funded four highly ambitious programmes that have the potential to achieve transformative impact from NERC environmental science research by:

  • bringing considerable NERC investment in excellent research within the participating research organisation(s), together with strengths in businesses, policy bodies and other stakeholders particular to their location(s)
  • conducting a coherent programme of high impact, focused, co-designed and co-delivered research translation and innovation activities
  • leveraging benefits and contributions from other sources of funds relevant to the ambition of the proposal
  • creating durable collaborations between the academic and non-academic participants.

Overview of current programmes

The South West Partnership for Environment & Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) - external link is an initiative that will help deliver economic and community benefits to the South West, whilst also protecting and enhancing the area's natural resources. SWEEP is a collaboration of three research institutions: the University of Exeter, the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory - working together with a large group of highly engaged business, policy and community partners.

Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme (ICASP) - external link is an ambitious and exciting programme to generate benefits for Yorkshire by applying environmental science to catchment challenges. Its base is the Yorkshire Ouse drainage basin, home to 6·7% of the UK population, 30% of the 'Northern Powerhouse' region, including 10 metropolitan boroughs, and covering a third of the land area of Northern England. It contains the catchments of the following rivers: Aire, Calder, Derwent, Don, Nidd, Ouse, Swale, Ure and Wharfe. This catchment area is facing some complex and costly challenges: flooding and drought, soil and water degradation and loss of agriculturally productive land and important ecosystems.

Community Water Management for a Liveable London (CAMELLIA) - external link is a project to bring together environmental, engineering, urban planning and socio-economic experts with governmental and planning authorities, industry, developers and citizens to co-develop solutions that will enable required housing growth in London whilst sustainably managing its water and environment.

The West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme (WM-Air) - external link will provide improved understanding of pollution sources and levels in the region, and new capability to predict air quality, health and economic impacts of potential policy measures. It will support the application of these measures to specific case studies across the West Midlands, ranging from major infrastructure projects such as HS2, to making effective use of green infrastructure (urban vegetation) across the city, to deliver clean air.


For further information on RISE, please contact:

Gemma Truelove
07519 294550