Funding of £6 million has been awarded to 20 research projects to accelerate decarbonisation of industry
- Funding for these 20 projects across 14 UK research institutions will support the UK’s green growth and net zero ambitions by 2050
- The Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre’s (IDRIC) whole systems approach is supporting industrial decarbonisation in Scotland, Northwest England, Teesside, Solent, Black Country, Humber, and South Wales
IDRIC, part of the UKRI Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC), has awarded close to £6 million to support the reduction of carbon emissions in the UK’s largest industrial clusters. Decarbonising these clusters is a key step towards reaching the UK’s net zero emissions target, a priority that has recently been reinforced by the government-commissioned Net Zero Review.
Industry plays a vital role in society, contributing to 9% of the UK’s GDP. It produces the vital materials and products that are fundamental to our day-to-day lives but contributes around 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and thereby, to climate change.
IDRIC recently launched a call for a second wave of new industrial decarbonisation research projects, offering stakeholders the opportunity to respond to emerging innovation and research needs and complementing its existing programme of projects.
The £6 million funding will go towards 20 projects covering a wide range of technological, environmental, economic, skills and social aspects of decarbonisation.
Pressing priorities that are addressed include: low carbon technologies (carbon capture, usage and storage; hydrogen; greenhouse gas removal); systems and scale up; policy frameworks; workforce skills development; and equality, diversity and inclusion.
The successful bids demonstrated how they would employ active dialogue and collaboration with key industrial stakeholders to ensure that outcomes and impact remain closely tied to industry needs. A full list of successful bids is listed below.
The funding extends IDRIC’s current research programme of 40 projects which is accelerating research and innovation through a whole system approach. IDRIC collaborates with over 200 partners and stakeholders including academic institutions, industry, community representatives and policy makers to address urgent innovation needs – realising goals with impact as well as sharing and integrating knowledge across disciplines and sectors.
Bryony Livesey, Challenge Director, Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, UKRI, said:
“The announcement of this funding continues to build upon IDRIC’s whole system approach to decarbonising industry, enabling the UK to remain at the forefront of a global low-carbon future. These successful Wave 2 projects will build evidence on a range of areas from economics and emissions to skilled jobs and wider net zero policy, supporting UK’s green growth and net zero ambitions.”
Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Champion and Director IDRIC said:
“We were delighted by the quality and volume of applications received in response to our funding call and as a result we have awarded funding to projects that address a wide range of pressing research priorities.
“IDRIC’s programme has demonstrated that we have the tools to transform industry and make it an engine of green growth. Our Wave 2 funding accompanied by the continued support of industry and academia will further enhance innovative decarbonisation solutions at pace and scale in the industrial heartlands, where it matters most.
“We are excited about the imminent announcement of our call for Flexible Funding and Secondment programmes. These further exciting opportunities will offer the chance to stakeholders to respond to emerging research needs, as well as encouraging skills development and knowledge transfer in the industrial decarbonisation sector.”
University of Hull Professor and Aura Research, Development and Innovation Lead James Gilbert has won funding for his project “Diversity to Decarbonise: Promoting EDI in the future workforce.” This project, in partnership between the Universities of Hull, Chester and Loughborough, will seek to help organisations working to decarbonise industry to improve their equity, diversity and inclusion by providing accessible tools and techniques to help them achieve greater diversity in their workforce and encourage the flow of talent into the industrial decarbonisation sector.
The call outlined the requirement for projects that would lead to innovative and practical research in at least one of 6 thematic areas:
- Low carbon technologies
- Systems and scale-up
- Policy and regulation
- Skills and training
- Environment considerations
- Social and economic aspects of decarbonisation
You can see the full range of projects funded by the IDRIC Wave 2 Funding on the IDRIC website.
IDRIC was launched in 2021 to accelerate research and innovation into industrial decarbonisation. It is currently collaborating with over 200 partners and stakeholders including academic institutions, industry, community representatives and policy makers to address urgent innovation needs – realising goals with impact and integrating knowledge across disciplines and sectors.
The IDRIC Wave 2 Funding Call opened for entries in November 2022, inviting research organisations across the UK to conduct relevant research in a bid to accelerate decarbonisation of UK industrial clusters.
Key stakeholders in industry, academia, policymakers, local government, NGOs, trade organisations and skills boards were involved both in the scoping to establish research needs as well as the selection process itself.