Situated at the University’s Docklands campus and spanning three floors, the RDCS is a cornerstone of an ambitious multi-million-pound investment programme which is creating dynamic, inclusive spaces for learning, working, and living. Central to the University’s visionary 5.0 careers-first approach, the Centre will be home to several world-leading initiatives including UEL’s Living Lab. This ground-breaking initiative in partnership with Siemens, offers students, researchers and local businesses an inclusive place to test, research and adapt technology in a real-world environment. Of particular value to researchers will be the opportunity to experiment on a small scale, in a secure environment, with the facility to later scale up across East London and beyond.
As well as the Living Lab, the RDCS will host sustainable startups – building on the University’s leading reputation in business incubation and acceleration - encouraging and supporting an eco-system of new thinking to tackle the threat of climate change. It will also be involved in the Blue Green Corridor, a visionary project which aims to develop the lower reaches of the River Thames by fostering green careers and infrastructure.
Speaking at the RDCS launch event, Professor Broderick spoke of her hopes for the exciting new space: “The Royal Docks Centre for Sustainability is not just a building; it is a vision brought to life. It is a space where researchers, students, alumni, businesses, and residents converge to create ideas, goals, and ambitions. It breaks down the barriers that often separate academia from its neighbours, offering a space where fresh perspectives and the cross-pollination of ideas flourish. Recognising that the success of any enterprise rests on the calibre of its workforce, the Centre is poised to supply the region’s businesses with a skilled green workforce ready to tackle the challenges of a rapidly evolving world. Aligned with the objectives of London’s only Enterprise Zone and building on UEL’s lead in business incubation and acceleration, this is a ground-breaking investment into our communities’ growth and development within east London and in our gateway to the world."
The launch event, coinciding with the University's Winter Fair on 6 December, featured a panel discussion titled "Sustainable Innovation". Facilitated by Dr Paul Marshall, UEL Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Careers and Enterprise), the Mayor of London and Mayor of Newham; Hannah Pathak, International Managing Director for the sustainability NGO Forum for the Future; and Dr Stephen Diasio, Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of South Florida, explored the RDCS’s role. The discussion centred on accelerating the pathway to a climate-resilient and sustainable future through enhanced collaboration with industry and community, the development of new skills, and ways to foster enterprise growth within East London and beyond.
Aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the RDCS will build on UEL’s aims to contribute to community wealth building, address local and global challenges, and create a cleaner, safer world. The centre invites collaboration with community organisations and businesses to co-design projects that address regional challenges and create innovative sustainable solutions.
As part of UEL's 10-year Vision 2028 strategy, the RDCS is committed to being a launchpad for businesses defining the new economy. Through careers-first initiatives, the Centre aims to elevate the skills, knowledge, and employability of students and graduates, supplying the local area with a skilled workforce ready for the challenges of Industry 5.0.
The launch of RDCS maintains UEL’s position at the forefront of transformative changes in East London and beyond as the University undertakes a journey towards a more sustainable and innovative future.