The Manifesto Development Day of the Regenerative design and Engineering for a NEt positive World (RENEW) Research Centre took place on 24 January 2024. Part funded by ESPRC IAA funds and Ignite+, the event was deemed a great success by hosts, the University of Bath’s Faculty of Engineering and Design, and the attendees who included representatives from: Baker Hughes, Expedition Engineering, Nuclear Waste Services, Design Council and CatSci.

RENEW set itself the ambitious goal of creating an agenda-setting Manifesto Document, to serve as a guiding framework for regenerative design and engineering, applicable across disciplines and sectors. The challenge of creating a universally agreed upon definition of regenerative design and engineering is not easy; and the invaluable input and collaboration offered by high-profile senior industry representatives from diverse sectors was indisputably of immense value.

The RENEW leadership team, Professor Sukumar Natarajan, RENEW Research Centre Director, Dr Juliana Calabria-Holley, and Dr Emma Emanuelsson Patterson, say:

The Manifesto Development Day is a milestone, not just for RENEW as a centre, but for a wide community of engineers and designers who wish to grapple with a completely new paradigm for both academic research and industrial practice. This is just the first in a series of engaged conversations designed to coalesce our understanding of what regenerative design and engineering means for the community, ultimately resulting in RENEW unveiling a manifesto for action in summer 2024.

There was a wonderful energy in the room, people were really engaged and contributed positively throughout the day. The mixture of industry representatives, academics from Engineering as well as across the University and PhD/Post-docs provided a stimulating mix of perspectives, which are very much valued and instrumental for the manifesto development. We are delighted that the event went so well.

Dynamic group discussions about regenerative design and engineering and the thinking around it were followed by facilitated workshops exploring the manifesto document structure and its development. A key element of the day’s agenda was how best to utilise Knowledge Exchange and maximise collaboration opportunities between academia and industry in the future.

Dr Steve Boakes, Head of Business Partnerships and Knowledge Exchange says:

This Ignite+ supported RENEW Manifesto Development event highlighted the value of interdisciplinary collaboration. Bringing together academic and industry stakeholders from across sectors, the event focussed discussions on approaches to sustainable regenerative design and engineering. The discussions and sharing of ideas has stimulated new collaborative knowledge exchange opportunities in RENEW to address wide-reaching environmental and societal challenges.

RENEW was created out of a desire to lead global research and innovation in regenerative design and engineering, addressing critical global challenges while generating net-positive co-benefits for nature, ecosystems, and society. RENEW comprises of 20 academics with the aspiration of being at the forefront of pioneering solutions.

The Ignite+ RENEW Manifesto Development event was supported by the Business Partnerships and Knowledge Exchange team in Research and Innovation Services (RIS).