The Midlands Consortium is comprised of the universities of Birmingham, Loughborough and Nottingham – three world-class partners, all with extensive and complementary energy related research activities. Generous financial support has been provided, in a unique cross-border arrangement, by both Advantage West Midlands and the East Midlands Development Agency (emda).
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is being established to speed up the deployment of new low-carbon energy technologies, including the efficient production and use of energy, in support of the UK’s energy and climate change goals. It will also increase funding and provide a national strategic focus for research and development in this area and promote international technology collaboration.
Jointly funded by Government and industry, the ETI brings together some of the world’s biggest companies – BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, Rolls-Royce and Shell. Their funding contribution, along with that of the Government, provides the Institute with a potential budget of more than £600 million over 10 years. The involvement of other private companies could boost the cash pot up to £1 billion.
Professor Michael Sterling, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Birmingham, said: ‘We are delighted that the Midlands Consortium has won the bid to host the Energy Technologies Institute. At Birmingham we have a proud heritage in science and engineering and our large scale Institute for Energy Research and Policy will make a real contribution to the work of the consortium.”
Professor Sir Colin Campbell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, added: “British higher education and research is one of the UK economy’s greatest success stories. Today’s news offers an outstanding opportunity for three distinguished universities to demonstrate the extent to which the United Kingdom is a significant force in the international market for knowledge and research excellence.
“The choice of the Midlands Consortium is a measure of the quality and attractiveness of our intellectual capital at The University of Nottingham, and at Birmingham and Loughborough. It also recognises our many successful collaborations, and our close and hugely-valued partnerships with those leading regional economic development. Most importantly, it will allow us to make the most of our shared determination to help secure the well-being of future generations through our science and innovation.”
The hub of the ETI will be based at Loughborough University, on the Holywell Park area of the campus, at the heart of the University’s Science and Enterprise Park, and brings with it up to 50 new jobs in the region.
Professor Shirley Pearce, Loughborough University’s Vice Chancellor, said the hub will be ideally situated at Holywell Park. “We already have a concentration of low-carbon and energy research and development activities based at the University’s Science and Enterprise Park. Locating the hub on this site will allow the Consortium to maximise the effective working of the ETI.”
Advantage West Midlands’ Director of Innovation, Dr Philip Extance, added: “Advantage West Midlands is delighted to support this strong collaboration of the three universities across the East and West Midlands. The location of the ETI hub in the Midlands pays testament not only to their research strength but also to the potential strength of firms in the regions to exploit the technology that is developed.”
Dr Bryan Jackson OBE, Chairman of emda, commented: “emda is delighted that ETI has recognised the industrial strengths in this region with companies such as E.ON UK, Caterpillar, Rolls-Royce, Toyota, Alstom, Siemens and EDF who all have a significant presence here. This strong proposition of global business at the forefront of the global energy sector combined with the international success of our universities is a winning combination.”
Bids to host the Institute were judged on energy research capability, reputation and culture; space, facilities and accessibility; and commitment to the ETI.
Five bids, from 28 applicants, were initially short-listed in May 2007. A reduced shortlist of three, comprising the Midlands Consortium and groups based in the North East and Scotland, was then announced in August.
The ETI is expected to be fully operational by 2008.
Hannah Baldwin | alfa
Producing electricity during flight
20.09.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene
19.09.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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