Report shows NERC environmental science tackles global challenges

31 January 2018

Today, we published our annual Impact Report showing how sustained NERC investment and partnerships achieve prosperity and wellbeing. It demonstrates how our work delivers a cleaner, more productive and more resilient world.

Montage of images relating to NERC science

NERC science has delivered real benefits to people, economies and the environment in every UK region, reflecting our investment in excellent research and innovation throughout the country. Our environmental science is the best in the world, providing global leadership that brings together scientists across disciplines and nations to tackle complex challenges.

Chief Executive and Executive Chair Designate of NERC Professor Duncan Wingham said:

"The world-leading research that NERC supports provides solutions to the complex environmental, economic and societal challenges we face around the globe. This year's Impact Report shows again the value and importance of our sustained investment and partnerships that deliver a healthy environment, healthy lives and a healthy economy."

Some highlights from the report:

  • NERC science maximises gains for UK infrastructure while minimising risks to and from the natural environment

    NERC solutions for UK energy, transport and other infrastructure deliver extensive benefits for owners, operators, regulators and users that improve people's quality of life and boost the economy. They have provided cost savings, safety improvements, increased revenues and resilience.

    For example, Rory Clarkson from Rolls-Royce plc is quoted in the report:

    "Regulators have agreed that our jet engines can operate during volcanic eruptions anywhere in the world. That puts us ahead of our competitors - and places the UK in the driving seat. We couldn't have achieved this without NERC-funded data and expertise from the University of Bristol."

  • Cutting-edge science saves lives and money through better weather forecasting

    Our analysis shows that NERC science is key to the delivery of an estimated £680 million of annual benefits through its role in enabling the Met Office to provide a world-leading weather and climate service. The benefits from the improved predictions include:

    • 23 lives saved each year in construction sector
    • £120 million a year saved by improved aircraft routing
    • up to £100 million a year saved by reductions in flood damage.

    Professor Stephen Belcher, Met Office Chief Scientist, is quoted in the report:

    "Our research relationship with NERC is vital for the Met Office. It ensures that we can continue to produce world-leading science to support the advice and services we provide to our stakeholders and customers."

The full report is available to read in the downloads section of this page.


Further information

Sylvie Kruiniger
NERC media office
01793 412593