The Project

ReNature aims to establish and implement a nature-based solutions research strategy for Malta with a vision to promote research and innovation and develop solutions in a pursuit of economic growth, whilst at the same time improving human well-being and tackling environmental challenges. The strategy will be complemented by a newly-developed research cluster to act on it, with a vision to stimulate both scientific excellence and innovation capacity towards achieving the goals of sustainable development.

In particular, challenges that can be addressed through nature-based solutions are those associated with the attainment of sustainable urbanisation through the design of cities that support communities, promote public health, cultural identity and social cohesion. Simultaneously, nature-based solutions provide new opportunities for climate change.

ReNature will establish twinning between the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), and internationally leading research institutions from other member states to stimulate knowledge exchange between them and nurture a new generation of scientists and practitioners around an emerging nature-based solutions cluster for Malta.

Objectives, actions and expected results:

Demonstrating multidisciplinary skills and complementary knowledge ReNature is set to offer the widening institution MCAST opportunities to:

 

  1. Strengthen collaboration between MCAST, Maltese national authorities and ReNature partners through stimulating common research projects and information flow among the different players;
    • Actions

      Identify stakeholders from the national and international scientific and practitioner communities, promote dialogue and knowledge co-creation.
    • Key products

      Create a National Research and Innovation Cluster that can contribute to nature-based innovation in Malta and Europe.
  2. Capacity-build personnel at MCAST, national authorities and other stakeholders, with the help of research-intensive partners within ReNature, to enable Maltese entities to collaborate and link up with third parties for the development of excellent scientific research in the nature-based solutions sector;
    • Actions

      Conduct a series of training courses for capacity building within the coordinating institution, interested stakeholders, and Malta; Provide opportunities for training for students, young researchers, academics and practitioners through participation in two targeted summer schools
    • Key products

      Develop two learning modules that will be delivered within Masters programmes in environmental science within the coordinating institutions; Offer at least four Masters scholarships to implement a research project that is jointly supervised with researchers from the research intensive institutions;
  3. Develop evidence-base to inform practitioners and policy-makers alike on landscape and urban planning as key components of green infrastructure.
    • Actions

      Promote open-source innovation by creating an open-source compendium and sharing data, information and publications with all interested users and practitioners
    • Key products

      A Nature-Based Solutions Impacts Toolbox for practitioners; An open source compendium (research data and peer-reviewed publications from collaborative research, in open access repositories)
  4. Extend the partnership by clustering with ongoing and future projects on nature-based solutions at European scale within, but not limited to, the Horizon 2020 framework.
    • Actions

      Implement mentoring visits from researchers in research intensive institutions;
    • Key products

      New know-how and research practices adopted and implemented within project research results, toolbox and complementary training courses.
  5. Provide solutions and alternatives to national authorities, policy-makers and businesses on the implementation of nature-based solutions
    • Actions

      Organize meetings, workshops and collaborative research, to co-produce knowledge and share results leading to an amplified effect on environmental management, landscape planning and uptake of solutions in businesses. Disseminate the research process and outcomes with special emphasis on landscape and urban planning and environmental policy-related issues.
    • Key results

      Embed project results in a larger community of learning and practice through promotional materials, website, social network profiles, and an online open-source compendium