20th September 2007
Today Innovation Secretary John Denham unveiled the location of the new Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), backed by up to £550m of Government investment announced by Gordon Brown in the 2006 Budget. The new centre, based at Loughborough University, a member of a Midlands consortium which also includes Birmingham and Nottingham universities, will bring more focus, ambition and collaboration to the UK's energy, science and engineering drive. It will have a potential budget of over £1bn.
The ETI will bring together some of the world's biggest companies, including BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, EON, Rolls-Royce and Shell. It will be calling on businesses to come up with big ideas and inventions that will help the UK to:
- Cut CO2 emissions to save the planet;
- Deliver more efficient energy to keep the public warm cost effectively;
- Guarantee this country has the energy supplies it needs now and in the future.
Mr Denham said: "The Institute will deliver solutions to help make the energy in our homes and businesses safer, cheaper and more sustainable for the future. It will do so by bringing together skills and expertise from the public sector, businesses large and small and the wider research community to transform our carbon footprint as quickly as possible.
This will help to establish the UK as one of the leaders in global clean energy development and deployment".
Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, John Hutton, said: "The establishment of this new Institute at Loughborough now gives us a truly strategic focus on research and development of low carbon energy technologies, helping make the UK a world-leader in this area.
This unique public/private partnership, together with the new BERR/Defra Environmental Transformation Fund, will make a real impact on key energy research challenges and our ability to deploy new technologies quickly, to accelerate progress towards a low carbon economy and to help ensure a secure energy supply over the long-term."
Mr Denham also announced the appointment of Dr David Clarke as the ETI's new Chief Executive.
The Government is putting up to £550 million into the programme over the next 10 years. Joint investment from the private sector will, it is hoped, double funding to over £1 billion.
Mr Denham said:"I believe David is ideally equipped to take the Institute forward and help it deliver. It means a great deal to have someone with David's knowledge and experience to lead the organisation."
The location of the Institute will be at Loughborough University campus and will be run by the Midlands Consortium (Universities of Birmingham, Loughborough and Nottingham). The decision follows a nine-month evaluation exercise with bids assessed on energy research capability, reputation and culture, site facilities and commitment to ETI.
Notes to Editors
The announcement was made at the formal signing by member organisations of the Heads of Agreement for the new Institute.
The 2006 budget included announcement of intention to establish a new energy and environment research institute, as a 50:50 public-private partnership with a budget of £100 million p.a. for at least 10 years. A detailed prospectus was published in September 2006 to seek broader participation and views on the Energy Technologies Institute. It brings together public and private sector R&D in the UK to set strategic direction and fund its delivery. It will provide the UK with a world-class means for delivering applied energy technology research to underpin eventual deployment.
The Institute will operate on a “distributed“ basis with research and demonstration undertaken by centres of excellence across the UK and overseas, as necessary. The projects these teams deliver will accelerate the progress of industrially applicable innovative energy technologies through the innovation chain to enable some commercial deployment within 10 years.
Research organisations across the UK were invited in January to indicate any interest in hosting the ETI Chief Executive and support staff. The initial submissions were considered by a Host Selection Group representing the industrial and public sector funding partners against a set of high level criteria. A shortlist of five bidders were invited to work-up detailed proposals., From these five, three were invited to give final presentations to the evaluation committee in early September, following which the Midlands Consortium led by Loughborough was selected.
Dr David Clarke is currently Head of Technology Strategy at Rolls-Royce plc. He has been involved in collaborative research and development of advanced technologies for over 20 years leading a range of research groups including Rolls-Royce's Advanced Materials development activities and its corporate Strategic Research Centre. With the latter group he has led Rolls-Royce's evaluation and development of new technology opportunities in fields as diverse as fuel cells, electrical propulsion technologies and advanced computational diagnostics. He is currently responsible for development and management of the Rolls-Royce plc global research strategy. This includes the company's multi-million pound university based research programme at the 29 Rolls-Royce University Technology Centres in the UK, North America, mainland Europe and Asia.
Dr Clarke is a member of EPSRC Council, chairs their Industrial User Panel and is Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde and a Member of the Science Council for the North West Development Agency. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials Metals and Mining and a Chartered Engineer.