We are pleased to be able to release the following news about our recent Wave 2 Funding Call:


Embargoed until 2 February 2023 00:01

Funding of £6 million has been awarded to 20 research projects to accelerate decarbonisation of industry

  • Funding for these 20 projects across 14 UK research institutions will support the UK’s green growth and net zero ambitions by 2050
  • The Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre’s (IDRIC) whole systems approach is supporting industrial decarbonisation in Scotland, Northwest England, Teesside, Solent, Black Country, Humber, and South Wales

IDRIC, part of the UKRI Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC), has awarded close to £6 million to support the reduction of carbon emissions in the UK’s largest industrial clusters. Decarbonising these clusters is a key step towards reaching the UK’s net zero emissions target, a priority that has recently been reinforced by the government-commissioned Net Zero Review.

Industry plays a vital role in society, contributing to 9% of the UK’s GDP. It produces the vital materials and products that are fundamental to our day-to-day lives but contributes around 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and thereby, to climate change.

IDRIC recently launched a call for a second wave of new industrial decarbonisation research projects, offering stakeholders the opportunity to respond to emerging innovation and research needs and complementing its existing programme of projects.

The £6 million funding will go towards 20 projects covering a wide range of technological, environmental, economic, skills and social aspects of decarbonisation.

Pressing priorities that are addressed include: low carbon technologies (carbon capture, usage and storage; hydrogen; greenhouse gas removal); systems and scale up; policy frameworks; workforce skills development; and equality, diversity and inclusion.

The successful bids demonstrated how they would employ active dialogue and collaboration with key industrial stakeholders to ensure that outcomes and impact remain closely tied to industry needs. A full list of successful bids is listed below.

The funding extends IDRIC’s current research programme of 40 projects which is accelerating research and innovation through a whole system approach. IDRIC collaborates with over 200 partners and stakeholders including academic institutions, industry, community representatives and policy makers to address urgent innovation needs – realising goals with impact as well as sharing and integrating knowledge across disciplines and sectors.

Bryony Livesey, Challenge Director, Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, UKRI, said: 

“The announcement of this funding continues to build upon IDRIC’s whole system approach to decarbonising industry, enabling the UK to remain at the forefront of a global low-carbon future. These successful Wave 2 projects will build evidence on a range of areas from economics and emissions to skilled jobs and wider net zero policy, supporting UK’s green growth and net zero ambitions.”

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Champion and Director IDRIC said: 

“We were delighted by the quality and volume of applications received in response to our funding call and as a result we have awarded funding to projects that address a wide range of pressing research priorities.

“IDRIC’s programme has demonstrated that we have the tools to transform industry and make it an engine of green growth. Our Wave 2 funding accompanied by the continued support of industry and academia will further enhance innovative decarbonisation solutions at pace and scale in the industrial heartlands, where it matters most.

“We are excited about the imminent announcement of our call for Flexible Funding and Secondment programmes. These further exciting opportunities will offer the chance to stakeholders to respond to emerging research needs, as well as encouraging skills development and knowledge transfer in the industrial decarbonisation sector.”


Notes to editor

The call outlined the requirement for projects that would lead to innovative and practical research in at least one of 6 thematic areas:

  1. Low carbon technologies
  2. Systems and scale-up
  3. Policy and regulation
  4. Skills and training
  5. Environment considerations
  6. Social and economic aspects of decarbonisation

Successful bids are as follows:

Dr Muhammad Akram – University of Sheffield

  • “Process Intensification of CO₂ capture with Bioenergy using Rotating Packed Bed” with research in the Humber
  • Project partners: Newcastle University, Carbon Clean

Professor Alan Guwy – University of South Wales

  • “VFA to PHA: Decarbonisation – A Route to Sustainable Plastics” with research in South Wales
  • Project partners: University of Bath and a range of industry partners

Professor Richard Marsh – Cardiff University 

  • “Enabling low carbon fuel technology deployment for power and high-temperature heat across the clusters” with research in South Wales and the Black Country
  • Project partners: Imperial College London, University of Birmingham, Quantum ES, HyCymru, CRPlus (SWIC), Camirus (RtBC), RWE, Tata Steel Europe, Siemens Energy, Shell, CMB Tech, Low Carbon Industry Wales

Dr Jonathan Wagner – Loughborough University 

  • “Algae-based carbon capture and utilisation for UK cluster decarbonisation” with research across all clusters
  • Project partners: Loughborough University, University of Manchester, Heriot-Watt University, Xanthella Ltd, Zest Associates, Severn Trent Water, Biffa Waste Services, Green Fuels Research, Algreen Ltd

Dr Lin Ma – University of Manchester 

  • “Enabling hydrogen storage near industrial clusters (Phase 2): enhancing confidence in porous rock storage” with research in the Humber, Northwest, South Wales and Teesside
  • Collaborators:  BGS, Heriot-Watt University, Centrica. Project partners: Progressive Energy, ENI

Dr Ronny Pini and Dr Maria Papathanasiou – Imperial College London 

  • “Integrated Design and Optimisation for Nationwide Deployment of Direct Air Capture Units” with research taking place initially in Scotland and Teesside with other clusters at later date

Dr Xinyuan Ke – University of Bath 

  • “Up-scaling on-site CO₂ utilisation for decarbonisation of dispersed cement sector: a novel route to reliable net-zero concretes” with research in the Humber and South Wales
  • Project partners: Lafarge Cauldon Limited/ Aggregate Industries Ltd, CEMEX UK

Jonathan Pearce – British Geological Survey 

  • “Assessing the value of the UK North Sea CO₂ storage capacity” with research across the UK
  • Project partner: Storegga

Dr Lindsay-Marie Armstrong – University of Southampton 

  • “Accelerating the Scale-up of Next-Generation Fuels from CO₂” with research in Solent and the Northwest
  • Project partners: University of Chester, The Solent Cluster, NW Alliance, Viridi CO₂, Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute, Future Towns Innovation Hub

Dr Ilaria Mosca – British Geological Survey

  • “A new seismic hazard model to support decarbonisation in offshore regions around the United Kingdom” with site-specific estimates in Scotland, North West, Teesside and the Humber
  • Project partner: Storegga

Dr Paula H. Blanco Sanchez & EBRI collaborators – Aston University/Energy & Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)

  • “Good plant design for measurement of CO₂‚ in carbon capture and storage applications” with research across all clusters.
  • Project partners: Energy Institute, Progressive Energy

Professor Marcelle McManus – University of Bath 

  • “Creating a Carbon Framework for a decarbonised circular economy” with research in the Black Country and South Wales
  • Project Partners: University of Warwick, University of Birmingham, Energy Systems Catapult, TATA Steel, SWIC

Dr Clair Gough – University of Manchester 

  • “Integrated Assessment of BECCS in context: environmental, policy, regulatory and social factors” with research in the Northwest

Professor James Gilbert – University of Hull

  • “Diversity to Decarbonise: Promoting EDI in the future workforce” with research in the Northwest, the Humber with other clusters at later date
  • Project partners: Loughborough University, University of Chester, CATCH, Equinor

Dr Huashan Bao – Durham University 

  • “CPD module development on Industrial heating and cooling” with research in Teesside and the Northwest
  • Project partners: RPS Group, Tees Valley Combined Authority, NEPIC, North West Hydrogen Alliance, Northern Gas Networks

Professor Adam Hawkes – Imperial College London 

  • “Unintended consequences? Life cycle comparison of UK industrial decarbonisation pathways” with research in the Humber, South Wales, Black Country and the Northwest

Dr Abby Samson – The University of Sheffield and collaborators: Prof Mathieu Lucquiaud, Prof Jon Gibbins and Dr Muhammad Akram

  • “AMICUS: Analysis Methods for Improved Capture Using Solvents” with research across all clusters
  • Project partners: Bechtel, Uniper, Total Energies, Endress Hauser, International Test Centre, UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre, Phillips 66, Tata Chemicals Europe, Progress Energy, VPI Immingham

Professor Dimitris Christopoulos – Heriot-Watt University 

  • “Opportunities in Financing the Green Transition” with research across all clusters
  • Project partners: Napier University, Erasmus University, UNIPER, KPMG Nederland, Rabobank, Deeptech Equity

Professor Karen Turner – Director, Centre for Energy Policy, University of Strathclyde  

  • “Labour market and other wider economy challenges in decarbonising the UK’s industry clusters [LAB-CLUSTER]” research taking place with a range of industry and policy partners

Professor Niall MacDowell – Imperial College London 

  • “An integrated framework for levelled up & low carbon industrial clusters” with research across all clusters
  • Project partners: DRAX, OGCI



IDRIC was launched in 2021 to accelerate research and innovation into industrial decarbonisation. It is currently collaborating with over 200 partners and stakeholders including academic institutions, industry, community representatives and policy makers to address urgent innovation needs – realising goals with impact and integrating knowledge across disciplines and sectors.

The IDRIC Wave 2 Funding Call opened for entries in November 2022, inviting research organisations across the UK to conduct relevant research in a bid to accelerate decarbonisation of UK industrial clusters.

Key stakeholders in industry, academia, policymakers, local government, NGOs, trade organisations, skills boards were involved both in the scoping to establish research needs as well as the selection process itself.