Global collaboration to accelerate clean energy innovation

The UK, with the US, Canada and Australia, has invested £61 million in the Global Centers on clean energy and climate change.

Global Centers on clean energy and climate change is an ambitious, novel clean energy and climate change programme being delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in conjunction with like-minded international funders.

Led by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the initiative is funding international, interdisciplinary collaborative research on use-inspired themes in clean energy and climate change.

It is also creating an ecosystem of global centres generating outcomes and solutions which have clear benefits for society in our efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

Global scientific effort

The Global Centers will conduct innovative research to tackle hard-to-decarbonise sectors across the UK economy, accelerating transformative socioeconomic and technological innovation and driving the energy transition to reach the UK’s net zero targets by 2050.

Through this programme, the UK continues to lead in what is now a truly global scientific effort to address climate change. UK funding includes support for projects innovating the production of greener fuels and supplying cleaner power.

George Freeman MP, Minister of State and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology said:

From the use of engineering biology to decarbonise our economies to agritech breakthroughs that will help us manage precious water resources, science and innovation will be critical to tackling the enormous challenges posed by climate change, while seizing the opportunities that open up as we pivot to new, cleaner energy.

No one company possesses a monopoly on genius which is why it is vital that the UK works with like-minded partners. The Global Centers will form a vital part of that work, deepening collaboration with researchers in the US, Canada, and Australia that is vital to our collective future.

Driving the energy transition

Dame Ottoline Leyser, CEO UKRI, said:

UKRI’s Building a Green Future Programme aims to harness the power of research and innovation to tackle hard-to-decarbonise sectors in our economy. We are excited to be partnering with our sister organisations in the US, Canada and Australia to accelerate progress toward this crucial goal.

Our combined investment in Global Centers enables exciting researcher and innovation-led international and interdisciplinary collaboration to drive the energy transition. I look forward to seeing the creative solutions developed through these global collaborations.

The UK investment of £18 million is across four projects in track one of the Global Centers programme. Funding is provided through UKRI’s Building a Green Future fund and International Science Partnerships Fund.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Canada, and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia, are also investing in the centres.

Further information

Project details

Global hydrogen production technologies (HyPT) center

This quadrilateral partnership involves partners in the US, Canada, UK and Australia.

The UK consortia is led by Cranfield University and includes:

  • Newcastle University
  • University of Cambridge
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Birmingham

This Global Center will provide broad coverage of all major technologies for net zero hydrogen production to de-risk the global challenge of cost reduction and scale-up.

The centre has integrated research spanning from materials and devices to systems and applications.

Electric power innovation for a carbon-free society (EPICS)

UK involvement in this Global Center is led by Imperial College London, with The University of Edinburgh, Newcastle University and University of Strathclyde.

This Global Center involves partners in the US, UK and Australia.

It will provide answers into the innovation and changes needed in today’s power grid management and institutions to meet demand for a grid with 100% renewable energy that is sustainable, affordable, reliable and resilient.

Global nitrogen innovation center for clean energy and the environment (NICCEE)

This is a trilateral partnership between Canada, the US and UK, with the UK represented through Rothamsted Research.

This Global Center will respond to the challenges and opportunities surrounding green ammonia. It will also enable and accelerate transformative socioeconomic and technological innovation for sustainable and climate-smart nitrogen management with use-inspired and data-driven approaches.

Clean energy and equitable transportation solutions

UK involvement in this Global Center is led by the University of Birmingham with Cardiff University.

This Global Center will bring together climate, energy, data science, and transportation experts to advance interdisciplinary research and education. It will also accelerate equitable use-inspired decarbonised road transportation pathways via partnerships with government, private sector, industry and end-user communities.

Top image:  Credit: pixelfit, E+ via Getty Images

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