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Low Carbon Economy Innovation and Skills

Universities, Research Institutes & Innovation Support

The higher education sector right across the West Midlands is pioneering new and innovative solutions to tackle climate change. 

Some are very specific and focused, such as Birmingham City University’s Energetic Algae (EnAlgae) programme working to address sustainable pathways for algal bioenergy, or Birmingham University’s Magnetic Materials Group, the UK’s only research group focussed on processing and recycling rare earth magnetic materials. 

Many directly support the wider industrial and transportation eco-system, such as the Warwick Manufacturing Group and the Energy Innovation Centre, the national centre for battery research, at Warwick University, or the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Research, and National Centre for the Decarbonisation of Heat.

Others bring multiple assets together, such as Wolverhampton University’s Centre of Engineering Innovation and Research (CEIR) which combines scientific techniques and specialist engineering expertise to resolve problems in industry, the environment and healthcare – from metamaterials, to tissue engineering, energy-absorbing devices to advanced energy storage. 

The research ecosystem across all six of the region’s universities will touch almost every aspect of the green industrial revolution, and beyond.

The region is also home to national and international bodies leading innovation and new ways of thinking: 

  • Energy Systems Catapult – accelerating the transformation of the UK’s energy system by bridging between industry, government, research and academia to bring new solutions to market more quickly.
  • Energy Research Accelerator - the first truly embedded cross-disciplinary research hub, formed universities across the Midlands, innovating biomass, thermal, solar, hydrogen solutions.
  • Global consultancies – Enzen, a world leading adviser on water and energy has its UK HQ in Solihull; Arup’s second largest European presence is also in Solihull, consulting on everything from distributed energy to renewables; while Mott McDonald is leading BEIS’s deployment of its 3-year 2050 Calculator programme.