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The University of Southampton

University signs groundbreaking agreement to create Eco Island

Published: 22 May 2008

The University of Southampton has signed a groundbreaking partnership agreement with Isle of Wight Council to help realise the Council's Eco-Island ambitions of making the Island carbon neutral by 2020.

The deal between the Russell Group University and the Council will see the Council and academics working together to reduce the Island's carbon footprint.

The working relationship between the Council and the University will give businesses and entrepreneurs from the Isle of Wight and beyond an opportunity to come up with solutions to fulfil the Eco Island themes: the development of renewable energy resources, reduction in waste and optimised transport and water infrastructure. The work will also address economics, social inclusion and behaviour studies to achieve eco living on the island.

These studies will also provide the opportunity for the Council and the Island Strategic Partnership to measure the impact and success of the Eco Island vision over time.

The University's School of Civil Engineering and the Environment hosts world-leading teams in the key areas of renewable energy as well as transportation, waste management and coastal engineering.

In addition, the University has centres of excellence in politics, management and social policy which will work with the council to develop strategies to support Island residents and businesses to achieve the exciting Eco Island vision by 2020.

Joe Duckworth and Professor Bill Wakeham
Signing the memorandum of understanding

Vice-Chancellor Professor Bill Wakeham signed the agreement on behalf of the University of Southampton with Isle of Wight Council Chief Executive Joe Duckworth signing on behalf of the Council.

Joe Duckworth said: "Southampton is a world-class University which has a deserved reputation for excellence in developing renewable energy technologies, transport and waste management.

"This memorandum, following on from our immensely successful Eco Island conference, will serve to cement the excellent working relationship we have developed with the University and will help to further our long term ambition of making the Isle of Wight carbon neutral by 2020."

Professor Wakeham added: "The University is looking forward to working with the Isle of Wight and supporting the exciting Eco Island initiative. We hope to be able to help the Island make great strides towards sustainability, particularly in the areas of transport, housing, water, waste and energy; and in doing so to develop new science, technology and social understanding that can be adopted elsewhere in the UK and worldwide."

Notes for editors

  • The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship.

    This is one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine, and home to a range of world-leading research centres, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, and the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies.

    We combine academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning.

    As one of the UK's top 10 research universities, we offer first-rate opportunities and facilities for study and research across a wide range of subjects in humanities, health, science and engineering.
    We have over 22,000 students, around 5000 staff, and an annual turnover in the region of £325 million.

  • For further Information:
    Sue Wilson, Communications, University of Southampton,
    Tel 023 8059 5457, email:

    Gavin Foster, Media Officer, Isle of Wight Council
    Tel: 0198) 823793, email:

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