UK energy innovation gets £60m Budget boost
George Osborne yesterday announced £60m funding to help UK companies develop and commercialise energy technologies of the future.
The flapship project to receive funding will be the Birmingham Energy Systems Catapult, which will initially focus on the improvement of energy networks - including heat, electricity and combustible gases.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The Energy Systems Catapult will make Britain the best place in the world to develop new energy products and services, like local energy systems that can provide an alternative source of power to the national grid.
"Locating the Catapult in Birmingham puts it right at the heart of a vibrant energy hub that will bring researchers and businesses together - a key component of bringing new and innovative ideas to market."
The new project will absorb the Energy Technologies Institute's (ETI) existing Smart Systems and Heat Programme in Birmingham, allowing researchers to hit the ground running.
Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said: "This puts the Catapult in a strong starting position to exploit the commercial opportunities for new technology-based products that address the needs for sustainable, affordable and secure energy - growing the UK energy sector, generating economic growth and creating jobs."
Catapult centres are being established and overseen by Innovate UK as places where businesses and researchers work together to bring new products and services more quickly to commercialisation.
The first round of funding will also support the creation of an Advanced Cold Manufacturing Centre. The first of its kind, the Centre will focus on the industrialisation of 'clean cold technologies' and its applications such as zero-emission transport refrigeration.
The Chancellor also announced £100m for research into driverless cars and slower raises in car tax for ultra-low emission vehicles .
Earlier in March, Ed Davey awarded an extra £3m of funding to local authorities to set up heat networks across England and Wales.
Read the full edie roundup of Osborne's budget, as well as the reaction from key industry players.
Innovation Zone at Sustainability Live 2015
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Find out more about the new Innovation Zone here and register to attend Sustainability Live 2015 for free here.