Research is at the heart of UCC’s core activities and mission. Research and Green Campus are inextricably linked, and a key aim of delivering the Sustainability Strategy is that UCC would become a “Living Laboratory”, where students, academics and practitioners would work together, using the campus itself as a testbed for solutions to today’s major societal challenges. A university “Living Laboratory” utilises the knowledge and research capabilities of an Institution’s students and staff to solve issues relating to its infrastructure and practices. A Living Laboratory project should aim to:
- Solve a real-life problem
- Be based on a partnership among key stakeholders, often crossing disciplinary and/or sectoral boundaries
- Trial and test ideas in real life settings in order to further refine solutions proposed
- Share data and findings generated openly
Some examples of past “Living Laboratory” type projects can be found in our recent STARS submission.
In January 2019, UCC Green Campus launched a Living Laboratory Seed Fund to support research masters projects and demonstration projects that would contribute to sustainability on campus in an inter-/trans- disciplinary manner. More information on the call can be found here.
UCC Green Campus also contribute to the wider sustainability agenda in higher education, by publishing research papers on the subject. In 2015, student Green Campus representatives and members of the Green Forum came together to publish the paper “A Journey in Sustainable Development on an Urban Campus“, which featured in the book, “Integrative Approaches to Sustainability in Higher Education” (Eds. Walter Leal Filho, Luciana Brandli, Olga Kuznetsova, Arminda Maria Finisterra do Paço). The paper was presented at the 2nd World Symposium on Sustainable Development in Higher Education in Manchester in 2014.
There are a multitude of opportunities for buildings and estates staff, researchers, students and industry/CSO’s to work together in finding solutions to today’s challenges. If you have an idea or would like to discuss opportunities, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.