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Warwick one of six Midlands universities in Chancellor’s announcement of £60 million for energy research

  • Warwick one of six Midlands universities in Chancellor’s announcement of £60 million for energy research
  • Funding will see a step change in energy research in critical areas such as thermal energy and energy storage.
  • Partnership between six leading UK Universities - the University of Warwick and the Universities of Birmingham, Nottingham, Loughborough, Aston and Leicester - and the British Geological Survey (BGS)

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In the Chancellor’s Budget statement today, Wednesday 18th March 2015, the Government has announced £60 million for a new energy research project in the Midlands. The Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) is a multimillion research hub which will build on the expertise of six leading midlands universities, the British Geological Survey and the surrounding industrial base to deliver a step change in energy research and development, securing the UK’s leadership position in the sector.

George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

“The Midlands is an engine of manufacturing growth so we are today giving the go ahead to the £60 million investment in the new Energy Research Accelerator that they have sought.”

The University of Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Nigel Thrift said:

“The global energy storage market will rise to $50 billion by 2020 and much of the rise will be in transportation to $21 bn. Automotive is well on its way to displacing consumer electronics as the biggest user of energy storage.”

“The Energy Research Accelerator initiative will play a crucial role bringing together researchers and industry to meet that challenge. It will enable the University of Warwick to create a National Low Carbon Mobility Centre, serving the automotive, commercial & off road, marine and rail sectors by the development of enabling technologies in energy storage and energy machines, drives and systems.”

“One example of the University of Warwick’s expertise in this field is WMG’s national advanced energy storage facility which provides capability to validate new battery chemistry; it enables the rapid characterisation of battery cells, the ability to test up to 1000 Amps, and to expose to extreme vibration, crush and penetration. Sponsored, by the UK’s Automotive Council, it is the only one of its kind in the UK. “

The Energy Research Accelerator will build upon the power of advanced manufacturing, multi-disciplinary research and industry expertise within the Midlands Region and the leadership of the M5 Group of Universities by supporting its exceptionally strong regional industrial base to harness the potential of cities in the region by bringing together leading academics in energy research with a proven track record of successfully working at the interface of academia, policy and industry.

The Energy Research Accelerator will develop new ways to reduce energy costs in manufacturing, adding competitive advantage to the UK in today’s global markets and will catalyse new research to secure the UK’s international lead in new energy technologies, across the region’s leading universities, and develop and deploy technologies as well as creating significant inward investment for the region and the UK.

The creation of the Energy Research Accelerator will also:

Bring leadership, innovation and competitive advantage in the energy research and development sector for the UK.

  • Provide a step-change in the economic impact of new technologies and services through partnerships with the industrial sector, earlier deployment, and the ability to operate demonstrators in both the city and campus environments.
  • Deliver wide-ranging energy research in collaboration with industry to convert innovation and emerging technologies into practical solutions with a powerful global benefit and value.
  • Deliver jobs, and apprentices, wealth creation and the next generation of trained scientists and engineers for the energy sector and for the new industries that will emerge.

The Energy Research Accelerator will also operate demonstrators in both city and campus environments and harness the potential of advanced manufacturing, enabling the faster deployment of new technologies to deliver competitive advantage and a step change in economic impact.

Note for editors

The Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) - The Energy Research Accelerator is based around a founding partnership between the six leading UK Universities in the Midlands region of the UK and the British Geological Survey (BGS) working with multiple industry partners. It will create new transformative and disruptive technologies that can be deployed in the Midland’s growing manufacturing sectors in automotive, aerospace, energy and rail, creating new products for the UK and for the global market. It will provide new pathways to clean and resilient integrated energy systems that can be demonstrated and owned within the city communities in the Midlands.

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy
University of Warwick
Tel UK: 024 76523708 office 07767 655860 mobile
Tel Overseas: +44 (0)24 76523708 office
+44 (0)7767 655860 mobile/cell
Email: p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk

PR61 18th March 2015

 

 

Further information:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy University of Warwick Tel UK: 024 76523708 office 07767 655860 mobile Tel Overseas: +44 (0)24 76523708 office +44 (0)7767 655860 mobile/cell Email: p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk