The next wave of research that aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of the UK’s major industrial clusters has been announced by the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC).
Backed by UKRI’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, IDRIC has made the awards as part of its rolling “Flexible Funding Programme,” funding 13 new research projects to the tune of £1.2 million.
The UK aims to reduce industrial emissions by at least two-thirds by 2035. The research projects that have received funding each support that ambition, and tackle a range of challenges, from examining approaches to carbon capture and storage in different industries to exploring the potential for green hydrogen production and transforming waste carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals.
This new round of flex funding will help develop practices that significantly aid the decarbonisation of industry.
The first two phases of flexible funding announced today will support projects from the Universities of Durham, Cardiff, South Wales, Sussex, Oxford, Strathclyde, Lincoln, Liverpool, and Sheffield as well as Heriot-Watt University and Imperial College London.
Since its launch two years ago, IDRIC has awarded £16.8 million to over 60 diverse research projects across the UK. This current phase of rolling flexible funding has been developed to be responsive to emerging industry needs so that IDRIC can support activities that are able to realise a rapidly achievable impact. Such funding has the potential for a positive outcome with minimal risk and expenditure.
The funding announced today extends IDRIC’s current programme which is accelerating research and innovation through a whole systems approach. IDRIC's funding ensures that critical decarbonisation technologies are developed and tailored for industry purposes. As such, IDRIC’s research and innovation programme is now delivering outputs that are driving efficiencies, cost reductions and new green business opportunities.
IDRIC’s key areas of impact also include creating an industrial decarbonisation “Knowledge Hub” for research projects and cluster activities; supporting policymakers at both the UK and devolved levels and also carrying out important research related to skills and training for academia, industry and government.
Since the commencement of its work in 2021, IDRIC has collaborated with more than 200 partners and stakeholders including industry, community representatives and policymakers to address urgent innovation needs.
Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Director of IDRIC said: "IDRIC’s programme has demonstrated that we have the tools to be responsive to industry needs and become an engine of green growth. This new round of flex funding will help develop practices that significantly aid the decarbonisation of industry.
"We have successfully developed an influential and impactful network at a critical time, bringing academics and industries together, across UK industrial clusters. This is an important step towards achieving Net Zero for the UK industry in an integrated and innovative manner.
“IDRIC’s progress over its two years has been wide-ranging. By integrating findings from across IDRIC’s research portfolio, we are directly informing plans for decarbonisation in some of the UK’s largest industrial clusters and generating collaboration between those clusters and academic research teams local to them.”
Bryony Livesey, Director, Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, UKRI: “The new round of funding by IDRIC aligns with the UK Government’s commitment to support and drive Net Zero goals. The quality of projects is a testament to IDRIC’s ability to collaborate with high-quality researchers to find meaningful solutions to decarbonising industries in the UK.”