Government commits £60m of funding to Midlands universities

  • 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 Universities of Birmingham, Nottingham and Warwick, Loughborough, Aston and Leicester - and the British Geological Survey (BGS).
  • Draws on University of Birmingham’s expertise in energy research and in particular Thermal Energy Technology and its excellent relationships with industry

Energy Research Accelerator

The Government has today confirmed £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.

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 the exceptionally strong regional industrial base to harness the potential of cities in the region, as well as 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, develop and deploy technologies, as well as create 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.

Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham commented:‘We are delighted that the University of Birmingham will lead on The Thermal Energy Technology strand, building on its research expertise in this area and look forward to the consortium building further on its strengths. Today's announcement confirms the Government’s recognition of the vital role of the Midland’s science and manufacturing base not only in terms of pushing the boundaries of knowledge and exploiting new technologies that address the energy and climate challenges but in delivering long term economic benefits to the UK.’

The Energy Research Accelerator will operate demonstrators in both the 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.


Notes for editors:

  • 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.
  • Kate Chapple, Press Office, University of Birmingham, tel +44 (0)121 414 2772 or +44 (0)7789 921 164, email: