An independent report by Warwick Economics and Development on the benefits and impacts of the University of Bath’s EPSRC-funded CDT in Sustainable Chemical Technologies reveals that, since its activity started in 2009, 7 out of 10 graduates went on to develop a career in industry or the private sector, and the CDT contributed four times the value to the UK economy per pound invested.

Since its launch in 2009, the CDT has graduated 149 PhD students whose efforts have focused on interdisciplinary research, collaborations with industry, training and public engagement –developing researchers’ skills to go beyond their own academic disciplines.

Through a four-year integrated PhD programme, the CDT brought together fundamental science and engineering with industrial and international partners in four main themes: Energy and Water, Renewable Feedstocks and Biotechnology, Processes and Manufacturing, and Healthcare Technologies.

CDT students worked in projects involving 74 unique industrial and academic partners from 17 different countries across the globe. Their research has attracted a total of 179 research, innovation and public engagement prizes.

The programme has also led to more than 500 scientific publications and has been central to the creation of six sustainable technology spinouts so far: LabCycle, Naturbeads, Cellesce, Cellular Agriculture, Kelpi and Clean Food Group.

The combined total direct gross value added (GVA) produced by those who have graduated from the CDT programme to 2023 is estimated at approximately £28 million. Accounting for multiplier effects, i.e., indirect impacts, the total GVA is approximately £50 million.

Professor Tim Mays, CDT Co-Director, said: “With such a high percentage of our doctoral graduates working in industry or the private sector, this CDT programme shows a high contribution to the needs of the industries involved and benefitting from sustainable chemical technologies.

“It also reflects the needs of an R&D intensive environment and economic growth that aspire to be built on a robust science, innovation, and R&D skills infrastructure, such as the UK.”

Professor Matthew Davidson, Institute for Sustainability and CDT Co-Director, added: “It is very pleasing that the innovative model for doctoral training that we pioneered in 2009 has proved to be so successful and we are very proud of the valuable and varied contributions that our graduates are making as leaders of a green revolution across the UK and beyond.”