A new £8.5 million centre, designed to promote innovation in waste, energy, and low carbon vehicle systems has been officially opened at Tyseley Energy Park (TEP).
The Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre (BEIC) is part of an overall programme of more than £20 million invested to deliver energy innovation activities at TEP. It received £7 million of funding from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).
The Rt Hon Rachael Maclean, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport and MP for Redditch voiced her support of the BEIC via a video message.
Rachael Maclean said: “Warmest congratulations to the University of Birmingham on the launch of the Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre. Last year, the Prime Minister set out an ambitious 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution. We recognise the University of Birmingham Energy Institute is bolding delivering sustainable energy research and driving innovations to support our decarbonisation targets and Birmingham is showing itself to be a UK leader in research, technology and innovation. The Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre is the next successful chapter in this story.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Just last week we learnt how low carbon manufacturing is now the fastest growing sector of our regional economy. Now we’re opening a new state-of-the-art facility here at Tyseley Energy Park, one of the WMCA’s Energy Innovation Zones, to support businesses and drive growth through innovation.
“Not only will this new energy innovation centre help us to tackle the climate emergency, but it also helps further cement the West Midlands as the home of the green industrial revolution. It is a great example of how the public sector, universities, and private sector businesses can all work together to create good-quality jobs and get us to net zero by 2041.”
Tim Pile, Chairman, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) said:
“This project is a fantastic example of the way in which Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) is driving forwards inclusive and sustainable economic growth across the region. Our unique triple helix structure of bringing together businesses, local government and academic partners has enabled us to make targeted investments on Tyseley Energy Park.
“Over the last six years GBSLEP has allocated nearly £11 million into three projects. This funding was vital as it not only supported the construction of the new Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre (BEIC) but also a new road to allow for vehicles to access the UK's first low and zero carbon Refuelling Station and an incubation space for low carbon SMEs. For our region, Tyseley Energy Park is building a sustainable legacy that our communities and businesses will benefit for years to come.”
Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, said: “The cutting-edge work in waste, energy and low carbon vehicle delivered by the Birmingham Energy Centre systems will help deliver a greener and cleaner ecosystem for Birmingham and the West Midlands. We’re particularly grateful to the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership for their financial support in building this Centre as well as to Birmingham City Council for their ongoing support. We’re looking forward to working with all our partners to drive forward this important research.”
The BEIC will focus particularly on hydrogen and fuel cells, energy storage, magnet and battery recycling and converting waste to fuels and energy. Innovations developed at the Centre will spin out into the city and region, as well as national and international markets.
The Centre will also offer students from the university, schools and colleges the opportunity to get involved with projects in and around the East Birmingham area. These projects will range from supporting the acceleration of the research at the Birmingham Energy Institute through to education and engaging with the community.
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- About Tyseley Energy Park
Tyseley Energy Park is a 16-acre site, which is one of the five Energy Innovation Zones established by the West Midlands Combined Authority. It is adjacent to the Tyseley Energy from Waste plant, operated by Veolia, which processes 350,000 tonnes of municipal waste a year. The park has also established a biomass plant which generates 10 MW of green electricity which is provided to the park.
TEP is owned and managed by Webster and Horsfall, a 300-year-old company that has a core business which is associated with the manufacture of wire and wire rope. Webster and Horsfall had a main role in the manufacture of the first successful transatlantic cable, and the family business is strongly linked to the local community.