IDRIC Briefing Webinars – May 2020

The Industrial Decarbonisation Research & Innovation Centre (IDRIC) held a webinar on 12th May to provide a briefing on the progress and activities of IDRIC so far, during which we outlined the next steps and opportunities for engagement. The webinar received 196 attendees from across academia, industry and government.

Presentation slides now available………..

On the 14th May the IDRIC Champion Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer provided an overview of IDRIC as part of the SCI’s webinar series. This webinar attracted 158 attendees and acted as a precursor for the SCI Energy Group’s October conference, “Future opportunities for CO2: the chemistry of carbon dioxide and its role in decarbonisation”. SCI Webinar Slides now available here…..

Following these events, the IDRIC team received some very positive feedback, including:

“Thank you for today’s webinar, which I found very interesting and encouraging.”

“I enjoyed your IDRIC webinar yesterday.”

“We followed your excellent webinar yesterday and your direction of travel seems pretty well established.”

“Thank you for your insightful presentation.”

Both of the above webinars were interactive experiences, allowing delegates to view the presentation and hear the speakers in real time whilst also enabling delegates to interact with speakers by sharing comments and questions. A full list of the questions is available below:

Q: Is there any budget limit guidance and number of projects awarded?

A: Please consider the guidelines within the call document: “It is expected that we will not be able to fund all proposals. Resources are finite, so consider your budget carefully, the most cost-efficient you can make the proposed project, the more competitive it may be during evaluation”.

As mentioned within the guidelines, we are also planning further calls over the lifetime of the centre.

Q: Is the information on the development of the project programme on the IDRIC website along with the model canvas? Please can it be resent to all attendees?

A: You can find information on the project programme development and the model canvas on the slides of the webinar that can be found on the IDRIC project website here.

Q: Can you give an indication of the scale of projects that you are anticipating for an MMC – a short feasibility or long-term multi-partner programme?

A: As mentioned in the call document, we may blend your proposal with similar proposals or even with ideas on other themes to create multidisciplinary projects and we will engage you in this process.

Q: How will you decide which MPs to consult, particularly where the cluster is a big one?  Will you also consult with Members of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly Members?  Some of the issues covered by IDRIC will be reserved, others will be devolved.

A: Our plans include consultations with members of the UK and Scottish governments and Welsh Assembly. We have started our engagement with government representatives who have constituencies in each of the cluster areas, with a priority given to those who also sit on decarbonisation or climate change related select groups and committees.

Q: What’s the timing of the £2m flexible fund? When do you expect to open this call for proposals?

A: The timing of future calls and their project sizes will be defined after the launch of the Centre in September 2020.

Q: What happens between July 6th and 1st September?

A: During the time period between July – September we will engage with EPSRC UKRI as they assess our proposal.

Q: How will you interact with existing EPSRC centres already working in these areas?  For example, UK CCS Research Centre; Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Supergen Hub.

A: We will endeavour to ensure we compliment the work already being undertaken by these centres and we are discussing potential collaborations with relevant centres.

Q: When should we expect to hear back on the results of our proposal?

A: We will commence engagement with those successful from 27th May onwards.

Q: How accurate of the budget do you require? as the team is not finalised, so the budget is more indicative than final fixed?

A: Please provide a budget as accurate as you are able by the deadline.  We will engage with those successful to develop project descriptions and further refine budgets.

Q: Is there a definition of what is an industrial cluster? For example, could a Scottish Industrial Cluster include Grangemouth and St Fergus, connected by infrastructure such as pipelines?

A: Please, visit these websites for relevant information: and

Please, get in touch with NECCUS Alliance ( for information on the Grangemouth cluster developments.

Q: Can the policy activities also include a focus on Just Transition for achieving wider social involvement and benefits?

A: The policy work conducted within IDRIC will focus on several different relevant areas and will consider Just Transition as part of this.

Q: Will IDRIC include a theme of Finance & Investment for Net Zero Industry Clusters, taking recent approaches such as Sustainable Investment Taxonomy and border carbon price adjustments into account?

A: One of the thematic areas that we have prioritised following discussion with stakeholders is economic and policy issues, including finance and investment.

Q: What assessment criteria are to be used for proposals.

A: The assessment criteria are based on the information requested in the MMC, e.g. challenge addressed, impact, activities, team, resources and management.

Q: Is there no consideration of low carbon feedstocks for the chemical industry?

A: One of the thematic areas for IDRIC is low-carbon technologies and we consider low carbon feedstocks and fuel flexibility within there.

Q: Are proposals designed to cover one full box of your priorities, or a subsection of a single box?

A: We would be pleased to receive proposals covering either of these scenarios.

Q: What proportion of the £20M funding do you anticipate being spent on this tranche of proposals?

A: The funding allocated to the first set of proposals will be defined after the initial assessment of all submitted applications is completed.

Q: Where does the Chemical Industry feature on you Technical Priorities slide?

A: The priorities identified are relevant to the industrial clusters that comprise a wide range of sectors, including the chemical sector.

Q: Is there a possibility to match-make people who would like to be involved in a project but perhaps do not have the networks to build up a proposal of their own?

A: For the proposals submitted, we will try to integrate with other projects/partners, if appropriate.

Q: As an industry representative what is the best method of advertising the projects that we want to work on to attract potential project partners?

A: We encourage companies to contact us via the email address. We can then see how we can help them at this stage of our application and going forward from September onwards

Q: Given a planned September start should we reflect the realities of the Covid-19 situation in impacts and stakeholder engagement when we write our MMCs

A: Yes, please ensure that any anticipated risks (and mitigations) to your project due to Covid-19 form part of your proposal. We anticipate exploring this further with the successful proposers.

Q: Will the Business Models, Financing component be undertaken early in your programme as the Cluster Plans finish Mar 23.

A: We are currently working on the evaluation of proposals and future definition of our research agenda. We will continue our engagement with the clusters to ensure that the IDRIC programme remains timely and impactful

Q: Are you expecting proposals to focus on one particular cluster e.g. Grangemouth?

A: We would be pleased to receive proposals that cover any number of clusters.

Q: How many people work in your team? Are you looking for new hands to work with you?

A: Thank you for asking! We are currently a core team of 4 people; however, we are working with several people across different organisations and very much look forward to collaborating as a larger IDRIC team from September onwards.

Q: How are industry and clusters going to be involved in evaluating the proposals to ensure they achieve a benefit to industry and the clusters?

A: Priority themes have been formed from discussions with the clusters and relevant industries. As part of the evaluation of proposals and future definition of our research agenda, we will continue our engagement with the clusters to ensure IDRIC programme remains timely and impactful.

Q: Surprised not to see anything on resource efficiency and circular economy approaches. Will these form part of IDRIC?

A: We are not excluding these; however, we note that UKRI has other programmes covering these areas and we will endeavour to ensure we compliment these programmes.

Q: Are any notes available from these visits and meetings to help guide themes and proposals from the community?

A: Unfortunately, we are not able to share the notes. However, we did include relevant information required for the preparation of proposals at this stage.

Q: What role (if any) do you envisage Geoscience having in the proposal and work program?

A: IDRIC is developing a multidisciplinary research and innovation programme, and as such geosciences and a wide range of disciplines are engaged.

Q: Please could you confirm the costing is FEC and the time scale is 24 months only?

A: Time scale is maximum 24 months. Please provide 100% FEC costs.

Q: Can you please elaborate on the co funding requirement on the application…is this 10% 50% in-kind support or time?

A: We do not have any predefined co-funding requirement; however, co-funding will be viewed favourably.

Q: Are the slides from the webinar on the 12th May available to all delegates?

A: The presentation can be found on the IDRIC project website here.

Q: Are there opportunities for early career researchers to engage with IDRIC?

A: Target calls for funding (e.g. via flexible funding) and skills development opportunities will be opened for early career researchers from September.

Q: In current situation, does Covid19 pandemic effect the funding proposal of decarbonisation which is to be approved in August?

A: We are currently working to meet the planned deadline to submit our full proposal on 6th July 2020, and the assessment process is planned to be completed w/c 24th August. As for many other activities and projects, we have adapted to the challenges from the current pandemic and adapted our initial plans to deliver our objectives and submit the full proposal in July.

Q: How can researchers from other parts of the country (outside the industrial clusters) can participate and contribute to IDRIC?

A: IDRIC is open to researchers across all geographical areas of the UK, not only the industrial clusters.

To find out more about IDRIC, please contact