5th February 2013
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has signed a lease on a new office at Birmingham Business Park. Once fully occupied more than 30 engineers, programme delivery, technology strategy and support staff will be employed on site.
The office – which will become open for business at the start of March - will become the centre for the ETI’s Smart Systems and Heat technology programme which aims to design and test the first Smart Energy System in the UK which looks at an integrated system of energy use, focusing on heat. The programme is the largest in the ETI’s history and has a projected budget of up to £100m. Hitachi Group (“Hitachi”) has joined as an Associate Member of the ETI to bring its expertise in systems design, integration and execution to the five-year programme alongside ETI’s existing members.
Global property group Goodman, which owns, develops and manages the park will welcome the ETI to 6220 Bishops Court. This two-storey building contains 4,221 sq ft (392 sq metres) of space and will be the ETI’s second office. The ETI currently employs 70 people at its head office at Holywell Park on Loughborough University campus.
Founded in 2007, the ETI is a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies – (BP, Caterpillar, EDF, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell) – and the UK Government. Its role is to bring together engineering projects that accelerate the development of affordable, secure and sustainable technologies that helps the UK address its long term emissions reductions targets as well as delivering nearer term benefits. To date it has invested £198 million in 43 projects across a portfolio of nine technology programme areas.
The programme will be led by Dr Grant Bourhill who takes up the role of Director, Smart Systems & Heat. He moves across from the Loughborough office where he was the ETI’s Director of Programme Delivery.
Dr David Clarke, Chief Executive of the ETI said: “We are excited to be opening our second office in Birmingham as our operation continues to mature. This underpins our commitment to help address the energy efficiency challenge by reinforcing UK capability in this area with additional skills focused on the field of effective delivery of heat to UK consumers.”
Dr Grant Bourhill, the ETI’s new Director, Smart Systems and Heat added: “Energy efficiency is a key priority the UK needs to address now if it is to meet the joint objectives of satisfying future customer demand and transitioning to a low carbon economy. The demand for heat in the future has to be understood and we have to find better ways of distributing it around our cities and around the country in an affordable, secure and sustainable manner. This programme will investigate these challenges and create appropriate solutions.”
The ETI’s national energy modelling identifies more efficient use of energy as an immediate development priority for the UK. Previous work in the area of smart systems technology has been supply side driven and focused on electricity for power. The ETI programme is focused on addressing demand management and reduction, especially for heat. It will have both a UK and Global impact and will first develop greater understanding of consumer behaviour and then develop technologies to address mass market demand for heat in an economically viable manner for producers, suppliers and consumers.
Kazuhiro Kurihara, Vice President and Executive Officer, Hitachi Ltd., said: "Hitachi is excited to be an associate member in the ETI's Smart Systems and Heat technology programme, providing the expertise and knowledge of our world class engineers. The results of this project will provide vital information needed to improve energy infrastructure in terms of demand side management and response, particularly for heat, in the UK and around the world.”
James Raven, Development Director, UK Business and Science Parks, Goodman UK added: “Birmingham Business Park continues to develop its thriving business network and the addition of the ETI will no doubt make a valuable contribution. The park boasts an impressive range of customers including EE, Beiersdorf, IMI and, most recently Computacenter. This has been a positive start to the New Year and we look forward to the ETI’s arrival.”