UK university consortium gets €1.4 billion for energy research

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A group of three UK universities will set up a £1billion (€1.4 billion) Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) – a national institute to develop cleaner energies.

The consortium of the universities of Birmingham, Loughborough and Nottingham was chosen, on 20 September 2007, to host a new UK national institute on energy technologies. All three are said to have good reputations for extensive energy-related research activities, which will complement one another.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), the cost of which is expected to reach some £1billion (€1.4 billion), will be jointly funded by the UK Government and private companies. Some of the world’s biggest enterprises such as Shell, BP, Caterpillar, Rolls-Royce, EDF Energy and E.ON UK are already committed to supporting the institute.

The ETI will be 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,” namely regarding the reduction of the country’s carbon emissions. 

The aim is also to develop “secure, reliable and affordable low-carbon energy technologies” that are commercially viable. 

The ETI will be based at the heart of Loughborough University’s Science and Enterprise Park and is expected to be fully operational by 2008.

The EU’s Seventh framework programme for research and technological development (FP7) is financing energy R&D projects, with some €2.3 billion earmarked for 2007-2013. 

The Commission proposal for the European Institute of Technology (EIT) suggests that the EU institute gives inter-disciplinary strategic areas, such as climate change or energy efficiency, the priority with regard to its first research, education and innovation activities. The proposal will be voted on in Parliament this week.

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