Carbon Trust and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) have announced the launch of a new £14 million investment initiative which will combine the needs of business with the capabilities of University R&D departments to deliver low carbon technologies and solutions in the UK.
The partnership – Carbon Vision – has been formed to ensure effective collaboration between research and commercial interests. Under the scheme, demands from business for low carbon technologies and solutions will be matched against University R&D departments best able to research ways to address these demands and overcome existing barriers in the innovation chain.
Dr David Vincent, Technical Director of Carbon Trust, said: ‘This project is about targeting new money into the low carbon sector in a way that can achieve effective results. We are acting as a broker between business and R&D to ensure that we create intellectual property, which can be commercialised and delivered. We are encouraging the R&D and business communities to share common goals so that we harness high quality science to deliver the business agenda. It is science with a business edge.’
Carbon Trust and EPSRC are each contributing £7 million, with the total sum of £14 million to be committed over a 3 to 4 year period. Investments will typically be in the order of £1- 2 million and will be awarded to R&D departments which specifically demonstrate the capabilities required to address those issues highlighted through Carbon Trust’s discussions with business.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Minister for Science & Innovation, said: ‘I welcome this initiative from the Carbon Trust and EPSRC. It is a good example of harnessing the expertise of the research community to deliver business benefits in a way which will ultimately help the UK to move to a low carbon economy.’
Carbon Trust and EPSRC are promoting the scheme to R&D departments across the UK during November. They will be carrying out a detailed process of matching R&D departments best able to conduct research against the ‘gaps’ in the innovation chain already identified by business. The first awards are expected to be made between June and December 2003.
Carbon Trust will also be recruiting a head of low carbon research to co-ordinate this new initiative, which forms part of Carbon Trust’s Low Carbon Innovation Programme.