Skip to content
Home » Three North East Universities Secure £22.5m Funding To Collaborate On Pioneering Projects

Three North East Universities Secure £22.5m Funding To Collaborate On Pioneering Projects

Experts at three North East universities are set to work together on two pioneering research projects, after securing funding worth a combined £22.5m.

Newcastle University will lead a new £11m centre for doctoral training (CDT) to produce future leaders for Net Zero process industries, in a collaboration involving University of York and more than 25 industrial partners. Meanwhile, an award of £5.3m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council will see Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham Universities further develop ReNU, their successful CDT in renewable energies which was formed five years ago.

Contributions from partner universities and companies has topped up the fund to almost £11.5m. The two CDT schemes form part of a £1bn-plus cash pot announced by Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan into 65 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) training centres.

Read more: Nigel Wright recruitment group launches New York office after turnover tops £26m Go here for more North East business news Newcastle University will deliver a four-year training programme involving industrial research projects and sustainability, business, and digital skills. The programme is designed to produce 55 PhD graduates with world-leading expertise in process intensification and green chemistry, as part of the £11m Process Industries: Net Zero (PINZ) Centre for Doctoral Training.

The researchers will help the pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, chemicals, and utilities sectors to move to more sustainable practices.

Matthew Grenby, pro-vice chancellor for research and innovation at Newcastle University, said: “The transition to net zero is one of the great challenges of our age, and we are delighted that universities like ours will be able to lead the response on the back of this announcement. This CDT is a perfect example of how we can do it, training the next generation of scientists and engineers, and collaborating directly with partners in industry.”

The investment will allow industry partners, such as the North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC), Procter & Gamble, SSE, Nestle and Northumbrian Water to benefit from collaborating with North East academics. A key focus for the CDT will be technology transfer from laboratory to industry.

In the second funding award, Northumbria University, along with Newcastle University and Durham University, will expand its work in advance renewable energy technologies and include people from under-represented groups and non-traditional educational backgrounds.

The funding will create ReNU+ – the ESPRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities Plus – which will be distinct from other areas of renewable energy research because of its emphasis on equality, diversity and inclusion, and its partnerships with local government, industry and charities. The centre will widen access to doctoral level training, to encourage those are unemployed or disabled, carers and military veterans to train as doctoral carbon champions.

Prof Andy Long, vice-chancellor and chief executive of Northumbria University said: “Social mobility and widening access are embedded in Northumbria University’s mission. We need to make much more of our country’s existing talent pools through reskilling, upskilling and training.

“With almost 700,000 new jobs forecast in the UK in the low carbon and renewable energy economy, it is vital that we work to create future leaders for this sector, and it is even more important that these leaders come from diverse and inclusive backgrounds to ensure our transition to a low carbon economy is equitable and sustainable. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the universities of Durham and Newcastle, and with industry and local government across the North East region, in this hugely important area of research.”

Newcastle University will also collaborate with Cranfield and Sheffield University to give 60 students with the skills needed to help create a more water-secure world. WIRe II is a collaboration involving the three universities to give students access to world-leading experimental water facilities.

Overall, the 65 UK CDTs will train and support more than 4,000 doctoral students in areas including AI, quantum technologies, semiconductors, telecoms and engineering biology.

Story Saved

You can find this story in My Bookmarks.Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right.