IDRIC December 2021 Update

It is already nearly the end of the year, Christmas is approaching real fast and we hope you are all set to have some relaxing time off. 

Just before you head off, the IDRIC team is pleased to announce that since our October 2021 update, we have welcomed 6 new team members: Clare Howard (Centre Manager), John Ferrier (Policy Research Officer), Isobel Marr (Knowledge Exchange Manager), Helen Kibby (Public Engagement Co-ordinator), Danny Cowe (Business Development Executive) and Stella Gouzon (Centre Administrator). 

Please feel free to visit our Meet the Team webpage to see the members of the team. 

The past 3 months have been extremely busy not least due to COP26 in Glasgow with face to face and hybrid online accessible events; the NZTC Global Summit took place online and the wider IDRIC team held 3 workshops on our Multidisciplinary Integrated Programmes (MIPs). A big thank you for your continued support.


Mercedes Maroto-Valer along with Anna Pultar and John Ferrier, IDRIC Policy Officers, attended and presented at several events at COP26. 

During the summit, the IDRIC team discussed with a range of stakeholders how a systems approach can speed up the journey to net zero, minimising the costs and risks involved of technological solutions, and increasing its economic and societal benefits. A key question underpinning the debate at COP26 was the role that technology and innovation will play in helping to reach the target of net zero emissions by 2050.  However, the summit was marked by the difficult politics of committing to joint global action. 

There was unprecedented consensus on the urgency of action needed, and in particular, on the need for departing from fossil fuels as the backbone of economies across the globe. Ultimately, no unanimous commitment to phasing out of fossil fuels was included in the concluding declaration, the Glasgow Climate Pact.  

At COP26, Prof. Maroto-Valer also discussed the most recent advances in decarbonising energy systems and industries with 10 other world leading research centres from the UK, US, Canada, Brazil, Australia and Netherlands. Reaching net zero is a team effort 

IDRIC will continue working with industry and academic partners, with policy makers and local communities, to co-develop innovative, inclusive, and sustainable pathways for industrial decarbonisation and mitigating climate change. 

At the invitation of Prof. Heather McGregor, some students of the Edinburgh Business School went to COP26. They attended the Wood PLC’s Diversity and Equality Day. Annabel, a student at Edinburgh Business School said ‘It was the first COP event that dedicated a day to the issue regarding the lack of equality within the race to net zero and encouraged everyone at the event to reflect on the matter. It was an amazing day and so encouraging to hear the work being done to ensure women do not get left behind during the race to net-zero.’  

Net Zero Technologies Centre (NZTC) Global Summit: 

Mercedes launched the Summit by sharing this urgent message: ‘We need to work together, share skills and pace for economic recovery; and Net Zero is an area that by innovating we are going to thrive, increase trade and attract more investment’. We invite you to watch the regional presentations of this Summit – here. 

Visit of HRH at the University of Bath:  

HRH, the Earl of Wessex and Chancellor of the University of Bath, visited the Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies (CSCT) in Bath to learn more about sustainable technologies research. 

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, was briefed on the industrial decarbonisation and sustainable energy systems initiatives at Bath, including the UK Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC) and the SuperGen Bioenergy Hub. 

Please visit for further details. 


Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer received two awards this Autumn! She was honoured with the prestigious ACES-Margarita Salas award in its very first edition, this was presented by the King and Queen of Spain in a private ceremony in Sweden. –  

Mercedes was also awarded best research project of the year at the Disruptors & Innovators (D+I) awards in Madrid. –  


We take this opportunity to highlight recent publications from IDRIC researchers and look forward to highlighting many more in the coming months: 

IDRIC Principal Investigator Gail Taylor and her team at the University of Southampton/UCAL published a paper on Land-use change from food to energy: meta-analysis unravels effects of bioenergy on biodiversity and cultural ecosystem services –

IDRIC Research Co-Director Professor Benjamin Sovacool and his team at University of Sussex published a paper on Decarbonising the glass industry: A critical and systematic review of developments, sociotechnical systems and policy options –  

To view papers that have been published by our Academic Partners, please visit  

Coming Up:  

Activities will continue to ramp up in 2022, including a series of policy workshops, enhanced cluster engagement and ongoing engagement across the academic projects under the Multidisciplinary Integrated Programmes (MIPs). We will also be working on the scoping and implementation of applications for Wave 2 academic projects. 

Follow our news at or via our social medias: LinkedIn and Twitter. 

On this note, we would like to thank you all for your energyongoing engagement and commitment to IDRIC.

Wwish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 

Enjoy the bubbles, nice food and most of all take care!