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Cardiff’s new transport research network receives £1m UK Government cash boost to turn vehicles green

Crucial research into electric planes, hydrogen-fuelled vehicles and wireless charging points to receive £5m UK Government cash boost.

The development of electric aircrafts, hydrogen-fuelled cars and technology to clean up polluting freight vehicles recently (Saturday 24 August) received a boost – as the UK Government injects £5 million into low carbon transport.

Cardiff has been selected as the home of one of five new transport research networks launched across the UK tasked with identifying solutions to transport pollution. The project, led by Cardiff University, will bring together experts from academia and industry including the University of Bristol and Aston Martin to identify challenges to decarbonisation. Building on the growing partnership between cities in the west of England and south of Wales, universities on both sides of the border will work in collaboration to pioneer green solutions to transport pollution such as electric and hybrid aircraft.

The Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns recently said:

The UK Government is committed to working with a range of experts to meet its 2050 net zero emissions pledge. As we take on this challenge, it is fantastic to see that Cardiff is taking a lead role in the research and development of green technology.

The transport network launched in Cardiff will fuel growth and productivity right across south Wales, providing a boost to the economy whilst helping to build a greener future.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng recently said:

A modern, advanced transport system is one that connects people to jobs while boosting economic growth and productivity. But with transport representing almost a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gases, the industry has to evolve as we stride towards our 2050 net zero emissions pledge.

Bringing together some of the brightest minds from all corners of the UK, these transport networks will boost the development of technologies that have the potential to clean up our transport systems – so we can cycle, drive and even fly into a greener future.

Each network has been awarded up to £1 million of funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), as part of the UK Government funded UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport recently said:

Transport is the biggest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions in the UK, and globally it is the fastest growing contributor to climate emissions.

Adapting our transport systems to low carbon technologies is vital to the future health of the planet, and the networks today will undertake crucial work in preparing the UK for this transformation.

The expert networks include leading figures across academia, industry and the public sector – with private sector powerhouses such as Hyundai-Kia and Aston Martin joining project teams across the country. Public sector partners include the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Transport, Transport for London, the Welsh Government and the National Grid.

Notes to editors:

The 5 networks receiving a funding boost are:

Network-H2: A Network for Hydrogen-Fuelled Transportation

  • Led by: Professor Tony Roskilly, Durham University
  • Network-H2 will share research and knowledge to support the development of a hydrogen-fuelled transport network – with the potential to deliver significant environmental benefits.

Decarbonising the UK’s Freight Transport

  • Led by: Dr Tristan Smith, University College London (UCL)
  • Aiming to unleash significant investment for freight decarbonisation, this network will explore how to clean up heavy goods vehicles and other freight vehicles - by using clean technologies and fuels.

Decarbonising Transport through Electrification (DTE), a Whole System Approach

  • Led by: Professor Liana Cipcigan, Cardiff University
  • This network aims to identify challenges to an integrated, cross-sector electrified transport system - looking at energy networks, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, electric and hybrid aircraft and the electrification of the rail network.

NewJet Network+

  • Led by: Dr Simon Blakey, University of Birmingham
  • With low carbon aircraft technology crucial to the future of the industry and the environment, this network will explore the barriers that face the adoption of low carbon, synthetic fuel and the benefits of its adoption for commercial aviation.

DecarboN8 – An Integrated Network to Decarbonise Transport

  • Led by: Professor Gregory Marsden, University of Leeds
  • This network will seek answers to questions on how different places can be rapidly switched to low carbon transport systems and how this transformation can be managed - facilitating new collaborations and test solutions.

About UK Research and Innovation: UKRI is a body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the Arts and Humanities Research Council; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; Economic and Social Research Council; Innovate UK; Medical Research Council; Natural Environment Research Council; Research England; and Science and Technology Facilities Council.

For further information on the individual projects, please contact James Giles-Franklin, UKRI Media and Communications Manager, on and 01793 234170.


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