University’s multi-million pound funding award brings net zero closer to reality


November 30th, 2023

The university, in collaboration with Loughborough University, has received a significant funding boost from East Midlands Freeport to accelerate the translation of Nottingham’s zero carbon research into high-impact commercial and policy solutions.

More than five million pounds from East Midlands Freeport, match-funded by the University of Nottingham and Loughborough University, has been pledged to support the first phase of a zero carbon innovation centre, primarily based at Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus.

As part of the university’s ambitious, science-based carbon reduction target to reach net zero by 2040, the innovation centre will provide technology and facilities to progress research in partnership with industry in electrification, hydrogen propulsion systems and advanced manufacturing.

It will enable the university to help consolidate the East Midlands’ position as a world leader in the development and deployment of innovation in green industries, attracting international investment and providing support for global businesses.

Zero Carbon Cluster

Funding for the innovation centre is an endorsement of the development by the university of a Zero Carbon Cluster (ZCC). The ZCC brings researchers from across disciplines who are working with cross-sector partners, including research institutions, councils, industries and economic development institutions.

Find out more about the university’s Zero Carbon Cluster.

Professor Tom Rodden, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, said:

“We are building a globally significant Zero Carbon Cluster right here in the East Midlands. By bringing together researchers from a variety of disciplines with a wide range of cross-sector partners, the cluster aims to attract and support top global firms, cultivate local innovation, train people in the skills needed for the net zero transition.”

The Zero Carbon Cluster draws on expertise across the university and our sector-leading breadth of zero carbon research. It has identified electrification and hydrogen propulsion system as the cluster’s initial pathways towards high TRL (technology readiness level) commercial products and services.

The new zero carbon innovation centre will join other world-class facilities, such as the

£40m Power Electronics and Machines Centre, which enable researchers to collaborate with industry to accelerate the translation of zero carbon research into real-world solutions.

Professor Rodden added: “This will not only help tackle the climate crisis but also deliver economic benefits to the East Midlands, as new businesses bring quality jobs to our region. The goal is for the East Midlands to become a global model for a flourishing zero carbon economy.”

East Midlands Freeport is the UK’s only inland Freeport. It has attracted £150m of investment and created 200 skilled jobs.

The first phase of the project, anticipated to complete in spring 2024, is to develop an innovation ecosystem to deliver advanced technologies and manufacturing to reach net zero. The first phase will also see construction begin for a green hydrogen production facility at Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP).

Get in touch with the Zero Carbon Cluster at zerocarboncluster@nottingham.ac.uk.

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