Cleaner power

Representatives from the Midlands Consortium have been chosen to host a new £1bn national institute to develop cleaner energies.


The Midlands Consortium is comprised of the universities of Birmingham, Loughborough and Nottingham. Financial support has been provided, in a unique cross-border arrangement, by both Advantage West Midlands and the East Midlands Development Agency (emda).


The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is being established to speed up the deployment of new low-carbon energy technologies, including the efficient production and use of energy, in support of the UK’s energy and climate change goals.


Jointly funded by government and industry, the ETI brings together some of the world’s biggest companies – BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, Rolls-Royce and Shell. Their funding contribution, along with that of the government, provides the Institute with a potential budget of more than £600m over 10 years. The involvement of other private companies could boost the cash pot up to £1bn.


The hub of the ETI will be based at Loughborough University, on the Holywell Park area of the campus, at the heart of the University’s Science and Enterprise Park, and brings with it up to 50 new jobs in the region.


Bids to host the Institute were judged on energy research capability, reputation and culture, space, facilities and accessibility and commitment to the ETI. Five bids, from 28 applicants, were initially short-listed in May 2007. A reduced shortlist of three, comprising the Midlands Consortium and groups based in the North East and Scotland, was then announced in August.


The ETI is expected to be fully operational by 2008.