Materials research

Materials research is set to receive a £12m investment from the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Research in the UK is set to receive a £12m investment from the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The two organisations have allocated the money to fund industry-led collaborative research and development projects that will enable the UK to meet the challenges posed within the global energy sector.

According to a statement, the investment will support the research and development of materials technologies that offer either specific or generic solutions to problems within the sector. 

The focus of the projects will be on the development of technologies and materials for energy generation (including fossil fuel, nuclear and renewables), energy transmission and distribution (including electrical and liquid gas), energy storage and energy conservation, with a focus on improved insulation materials in the built environment.

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest £10m into the projects, with a further £2m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. 

Together, they will provide partial investment in projects that address one or more of these areas, and which involve businesses working collaboratively with other businesses and/or with research organisations and academic institutions.

The projects, which can last for two to three years, can range from small, highly focused basic research projects, aimed at establishing technical feasibility, through to applied research and experimental development projects.
The Materials for Energy competition is part of the Technology Strategy Board’s Autumn 2007 call for proposals in a number of innovation and technology areas.

‘Energy demand in the UK is set to grow, as the economy expands, but we also have a target to achieve at least a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050,’ said Technology Strategy Board chief executive Iain Gray. ‘To both meet increased demand and minimise environmental impact, the UK will require a balanced energy portfolio, potentially including a mix of fossil, renewable and nuclear energy sources.

‘The UK will need advances in the development and application of materials technologies in order to meet our needs for energy generation, storage and transmission.’

Applicants should register their intention to apply for funding by 11 January 2008. The final closing date for applications is 14 February 2008.

Further information is available here.