Image: WMG Warwick / Flickr

Midlands to receive £180m for energy research

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An investment sum of £180m has been declared for the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA), to be shared between the 6 Midland Innovation Universities, the British Geological Survey and the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG).

The funds will go towards building a new National Carbon Mobility Centre for the WMG, promoting the research of energy storage and systems for commercial, automotive, off-road, marine and rail interests.

Warwick vice-chancellor Sir Nigel Thrift commented: “The global energy storage market will rise to $50bn (£24bn) by 2020 and much of the rise will be in transportation to $21bn (£14bn).”

“Automotive is well on its way to displacing consumer electronics as the biggest user of energy storage. The ERA will play a crucial role in bringing together researchers and industry to meet that challenge.”

The other universities to receive funds are Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough and Nottingham. These are expected to go towards the creation of world-class facilities for the development of low-carbon energy and technology, to be used and exported by the UK.

£60m has already been confirmed by a government Spending Review on November 25, whilst the remaining £120m will be drawn from universities and private industry groups, including Blueprint, Dearman Engines, Highview and Jaguar Land Rover, a company with already sizeable ties to the University.

ERA CEO George Waddington said: “ERA is putting the UK on the global map of energy innovation. The amount of private sector funding is a testament to the fact that this is a critical opportunity for growth and productivity in the UK.”

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