A new joint research initiative focusing on energy systems integration has been awarded £5m by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to help boost UK economic growth and address regional needs.
The Northern Net Zero Accelerator - Energy Systems Integration for a Decarbonised Economy will make, collate and translate knowledge from research on net zero technologies, policy, energy and industrial systems.
Led by Newcastle University in partnership with Durham, Hull, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside Universities, the Accelerator has received £5m through a new scheme called Place Based Impact Acceleration Account (PBIAA).
UK Innovation clusters
Northern Net Zero Accelerator - Energy Systems Integration for a Decarbonised Economy is part of several new projects that have received £41 million funding to enhance UK research and innovation clusters. These clusters will combine some of the country’s leading engineering and physical sciences research with the ambitions of civic bodies and local business to enhance different regions’ economic capability.
The theme of the Northern Net Zero Accelerator is on Energy Systems Integration for a Decarbonised Economy. Three pillars to the theme have been identified:
Place Based Impact Acceleration Account
The awards from EPSRC provide research organisations with flexible funding enabling them to drive impacts from their research portfolio through a wide range of activities.
Each consortium focuses on a scientific theme in engineering and physical sciences research and targets a specific geographical area to support the expansion or development of a research and innovation cluster.
The projects will bring short- and long-term benefits to regional and local economies and communities including new jobs, skills development, private investment, growth of SMEs, and more. They also support the government’s levelling up agenda creating an opportunity for academics and civic actors to collaborate and support the development of local industry and places.
Science Minister, George Freeman, said: “The UK is already home to clusters of world-class science and technology talent, bringing together top universities, cutting-edge research institutes and enterprising businesses of all sizes and it is crucial we channel these hubs of scientific advance and growth to level up our country.
“From skilling up South Wales and Central Scotland with hundreds of jobs in semiconductors and photonics, to boosting the North-West of England’s biotechnology sector and trebling the economic return for the region, our £41m investment will help enhance these clusters’ vast potential for the good of our local economies and the wider country.”
Adapted with thanks from UKRI.
Learn more about the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Find out more about the Durham Energy Institute