The UK Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC)

What is the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge?

This challenge aims to accelerate the cost-effective decarbonisation of industry by developing and deploying low-carbon technologies. It also aims to enable the deployment of infrastructure at scale by the mid-2020s.

It aims to boost the competitiveness of key industrial regions and drive inward investment, creating and protecting jobs for a low-carbon global economy with growing low-carbon export markets

It will support delivery of the Clean Growth Grand Challenge and the Industrial Clusters Mission, which has set an ambition to establish the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 and 4 low-carbon clusters by 2030. The Mission, and this challenge, will help to place the UK at the forefront of the global shift to Clean Growth, by driving the technologies, services and markets to produce low carbon industrial products.

What’s the investment?

The Industrial Decarbonisation programme is funded by £170 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund which is expected to be matched by funding of up to £261 million from industry.

What are the opportunities?

Clusters of large industrial plants for energy-intensive industries such as iron and steel, cement, refining and chemicals, have developed near our ports and estuaries. These industrial clusters are very significant contributors to both the local economy and their communities, but also are significant contributors to UK carbon emissions.

The largest six clusters mapped by the Industrial Clusters Mission, have high emission plants totaling around 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year – equating to about one third of all business and industrial emissions. Manufacturing businesses in industrial clusters often share infrastructure and resources (both supply chains and workforce).

Industrial Decarbonisation seeks to harness the scale of the industrial clusters to create opportunities to work together to find cost-effective solutions to decarbonisation.

This challenge is the first active funding stream as part of a wider government commitment to cut industrial emissions. It will develop at least one low-carbon industrial cluster by 2030, and the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 in support of the Industrial Clusters Mission.

The challenge comprises three complimentary activities:

  • cluster plans
  • deployment projects
  • The Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC).

Cluster plan projects:

In January 2021, six projects (phase 2) across the UK were awarded £8 million in government funding to bring together industry and local authorities to develop plans to reduce carbon emissions:

Deployment projects:

In March 2021, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) awarded £171 million funding across nine projects (stage 1) to support the delivery of significant emissions reduction in at least one UK industrial cluster by 2030.

The stage one deployment projects include:

UKRI videos on each of the projects can be viewed here

Find out more about the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge – UKRI

UKRI Video Playlist:

‘Decarbonising the UK’s Industrial Clusters’. Please click top right to select by Cluster.

Credit: Climate Change Committee & Element Energy Ltd

Industrial Clusters Heatmap