The Technology Strategy Board and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are to jointly invest over £10m in sixteen research and development projects into materials technologies that will help meet the country's energy challenges.
The investments will support the research and development of materials technologies that offer solutions to problems within the sector. The focus of the projects will be on the development of technologies and materials for energy generation, transmission & distribution, storage and conservation.
The projects, which have a total value in excess of £20m, include research and development in areas such as:
- Energy efficient bio-based natural fibre insulation
- New materials and methods for energy efficient tidal turbines
- A new manufacturing process to produce a novel cellular vacuum insulation panel for retrofit into buildings, to reduce heat loss and energy
- Sustainable power cable materials technologies with improved whole life performance
Supporting the Technology Strategy Board's decision to invest in these projects, science and innovation minister Ian Pearson said: "Sustainable energy supplies and the control of carbon dioxide emissions are major environmental challenges for the UK. Large scale investment, such as the ten million pounds announced today, will enable innovative materials technologies such as advanced building insulation and materials for energy efficient tidal turbines to be developed to meet the challenges we face in energy generation, conservation, storage and transmission."
The Technology Strategy Board's director of innovation programmes, David Bott, added: "Through this support, the Technology Strategy Board is helping to bring together the UK's world class expertise to research and develop innovative technologies in a key area for the UK. The technologies will bring enormous economic benefit in future, and will have global potential. We are delighted to offer our support and investment to these projects and look forward to some exciting work ahead."
The funding of these projects is the latest investment in technology research and development by the Technology Strategy Board and follows their Autumn 2007 call for proposals in a number of innovation and technology areas. Announcements about further investments are likely to be made shortly.