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188 Projects, page 1 of 19

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J008303/1
    Funder Contribution: 503,961 GBP
    Partners: University of Birmingham, Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd

    Extensive unexploited resources of heavy oil and bitumen exist, for example in Canada and Venezuela, as well as heavier deposits under the North Sea UK, which could potentially be utilized as the production of conventional light crude declines. Heavy oil and bitumen are more difficult to recover than conventional crude, requiring mining or specialized in-situ recovery techniques followed by upgrading to make them suitable for use as a fuel. Toe to heel air injection (THAITM) is an in-situ combustion and upgrading process in which air is injected to a horizontal well to feed combustion of a small fraction of the oil (up to 15 %). The heat generated causes the oil to flow along the well, where thermal upgrading reactions occur, leading to upgrading of the oil (by 4-6 API). CAPRI is a catalytic add-on to THAI in which catalyst is packed around the well to effect further catalytic upgrading reactions, such as hydrotreatment, however previous studies showed that the catalyst lifetime and process effectiveness are limited by coke deposition upon the catalyst. Additionally the costs and challenges of packing the well with pelleted catalyst prior to starting up also make the CAPRI process less economically attractive. The current proposal seeks to develop cheap, effective nanoparticulate catalysts which could be conveyed into the well by air or as slurry during operation, thereby avoiding the requirement for packing the well with catalyst prior to start up and to reduce the amount of deactivation and bed blockage that occurs by coke deposition upon pelleted catalysts. Initially, readily available iron oxide nanoparticles will be tested as a base-case. Nanoparticulate catalysts will also be prepared by supporting the metal upon bacteria, using a method in which metal containing solution is reduced in the presence of a bacterial culture, followed by centrifuge and drying which kills the live bacteria. The method has the advantages of being able to utilize scrap metal solutions and thus facilitate recycling of metals from waste sources, and it may be tuned to engineer nanoparticles of desired size and properties (e.g. crystal structures). Here we seek to develop, test and scale up the production of biogenic Fe catalysts for the upgrading of oil in the THAI process. Furthermore, waste road dusts contain deposits of catalytic metals from the exhaust of vehicular catalytic converters and these will be converted into cheap mixed metal catalysts by economically proven biohydrometallurgical methods for testing in the THAI process. Key to the effectiveness of utilizing nanoparticle catalysts will be the ability to contact them with oil in the mobile oil zone and flame front of the well, where the reaction is taking place. Studies of the rock void structure will be carried out using techniques such as X-Ray microtomography. Monte Carlo and Lattice Boltzmann simulations will be used to study the pneumatic conveying of particles into the reservoir and to study penetration and distribution of particles within the void space of the rocks. Conveying of slurry catalysts and process performance will be modeled using STARS reservoir simulation software. Evaluation of the different catalysts will be performed experimentally under real conditions using a rig developed under a previous project. The effect of variables such as gas:oil ratio, temperature, pressure and gas composition will be studied experimentally, in order to select the best catalyst and understand the conditions required for maximum upgrading. The experiments will also indicate whether catalyst deactivation occurs during use and enable conditions to be tuned to avoid deactivation.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/F012934/1
    Funder Contribution: 37,160 GBP
    Partners: University of Joensuu, University of Manitoba, Institute of Applied Technology, NGI, University of Maryland, Newcastle University, University of Patras, University of Tübingen

    This proposal will bring together sediment remediation engineers, ecotoxicologists and hydrogeochemists at an early stage of their career. They will gather for a one week launch event at Newcastle University to learn about each others conceptual understanding of sediment pollution issues and to discuss feasible solutions to these. The launch activities will include discipline hopping in oral presentations, one-on-one pairing of researchers from different disciplines explaining their research efforts to each other, practical training in the calibration and use of pollutant fate modelling tools, visits to local sites with sediment pollution, group discussion of possible solutions to international case studies of sediment pollution, and the conceptual design of better interdisciplinary models of sediment pollution and its effect on sediment-dwelling and aquatic organisms.During the launch event the researchers will submit proposals for people exchange activities with the partner institutions. Such individual visits will allow the researchers to deepen the mutual understanding of work at other institutions and in other disciplines. It is expected that future international and interdisciplinary research collaborations will emerge from such opportunities, and that the established personal contacts will continue to pay dividends throughout the career of the young participants.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/V000683/1
    Funder Contribution: 42,298 GBP
    Partners: University of Connecticut, McGill University, University of York

    A central goal of this Overseas Travel Grant proposal is the establishment of a network of leading researchers with expertise in bone and tooth formation who share the believe that a comprehensive understanding of the nanoscale organization of both mineral and organic phase is at the heart of the development of new approaches for medical treatments. The proposed methodology is making use of the advancement of high-resolution electron imaging and spectroscopy to gain insights into the 3D structure and composition on the nanoscale. This approach is of great importance for a full understanding of the mechanisms behind structure formation and potential failure mechanisms in bones and teeth. In a recent publication (Reznikov et al., Science 2018) we were able to identify 12 levels of organisation in bone from the nano- to the macroscopic scale with a self-similar organisation pattern emerging across the different length-scales. These findings indicate the importance to understand the structure of mineralised tissue on the nanoscale. Based on this work I aim to explore the application of nanoscale imaging using advanced electron microscopy and spectroscopy to mineralised tissue such as bone cells and teeth. In both cases it is highly exciting to gain a full image of the mineral/organic assembly in healthy and disease affected tissues. The complex interplay between the mineral and the organic phases in bones and teeth appears to strongly affect the properties of the resulting biomineral with significant effects of disruptions on the nanoscale due to mineralisation affecting diseases (e.g. osteogenesis imperfecta or amelogenesis imperfecta, osteoporosis, arthritis). Hence, this work will provide a platform for future collaboration with leading life scientists and clinicians and will enable to link the high-resolution information gained by the chosen approaches with diagnostic observations. Both hosts at McGill University in Montreal and University of Connecticut in Hartford provide ideal conditions for both training and research since they have an excellent international reputation on health related materials research and provide access to an outstanding set of experimental techniques to achieve the goals of this proposal.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G036950/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,371,160 GBP
    Partners: TIMET UK LIMITED, WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY UK LIMITED, Cummins Turbo Technologies (United Kingdom), Tata Steel (United Kingdom), Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL, Novelis Global Technology Centre, University of Sheffield, MEL Chemicals, Alcoa Europe Flat Rolled Products, Capcis Ltd...

    This is an application for a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) from the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester in Advanced Metallic Systems which will be directed by Prof Panos Tsakiropoulos and Prof Phil Prangnell. The proposed DTC is in response to recent reviews by the EPSRC and government/industrial bodies which have indentified the serious impact of an increasing shortage of personnel, with Doctorate level training in metallic materials, on the global competitiveness of the UK's manufacturing and defence capability. Furthermore, future applications of materials are increasingly being seen as systems that incorporate several material classes and engineered surfaces into single components, to increase performance.The primary goal of the DTC is to address these issues head on by supplying the next generation of metallics research specialists desperately needed by UK plc. We plan to attract talented students from a diverse range of physical science and engineering backgrounds and involve them with highly motivated academic staff in a variety of innovative teaching and industrial-based research activities. The programme aims to prepare graduates for global challenges in competitiveness, through an enhanced PhD programme that will:1. Challenge students and promote independent problem solving and interdiscpilnarity,2. Expose them to industrial innovation, exciting new science and the international research community, 3. Increase their fundamental skills, and broaden them as individuals in preparation for future management and leadership roles.The DTC will be aligned with major multidisciplinary research centres and with the strong involvement of NAMTEC (the National Metals Technology Centre) and over twenty companies across many sectors. Learning will be up to date and industrially relevant, as well as benefitting from access to 30M of state-of-the art research facilities.Research projects will be targeted at high value UK strategic technology sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, power generation, renewables, and defence and aim to:1. Provide a multidisciplinary approach to the whole product life cycle; from raw material, to semi finished products to forming, joining, surface engineering/coating, in service performance and recycling via the wide skill base of the combined academic team and industrial collaborators.2. Improve the basic understanding of how nano-, micro- and meso-scale physical processes control material microstructures and thereby properties, in order to radically improve industrial processes, and advance techniques of modelling and process simulation.3. Develop new innovative processes and processing routes, i.e. disruptive or transformative technologies.4. Address challenges in energy by the development of advanced metallic solutions and manufacturing technologies for nuclear power, reduced CO2 emissions, and renewable energy. 5. Study issues and develop techniques for interfacing metallic materials into advanced hybrid structures with polymers, laminates, foams and composites etc. 6. Develop novel coatings and surface treatments to protect new light alloys and hybrid structures, in hostile environments, reduce environmental impact of chemical treatments and add value and increase functionality. 7. Reduce environmental impact through reductions in process energy costs and concurrently develop new materials that address the environmental challenges in weight saving and recyclability technologies. This we believe will produce PhD graduates with a superior skills base enabling problem solving and leadership expertise well beyond a conventional PhD project, i.e. a DTC with a structured programme and stimulating methods of engagement, will produce internationally competitive doctoral graduates that can engage with today's diverse metallurgical issues and contribute to the development of a high level knowledge-based UK manufacturing sector.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/V043811/1
    Funder Contribution: 497,214 GBP
    Partners: University of Toronto, University of Liverpool

    Coronaviruses are transmitted from an infectious individual through large respiratory droplets generated by coughing, sneezing or speaking. These infectious droplets are then transmitted to the mucosal surfaces of a recipient through inhalation of the aerosol or by contact with contaminated fomites such as surfaces or other objects. In healthcare settings, personal protective equipment (PPE) plays a crucial role in interrupting the transmission of highly communicable diseases such as COVID19 from patients to healthcare workers (HCWs). However, research has shown that PPE can also act as a fomite during the donning and doffing process as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can survive on these surfaces for up to three days. This creates a need for more effective PPE materials that can provide antiviral protection. In this proposal we aim to develop a dual action antiviral/antifouling coating to lower the risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 to HCWs from COVID19 patients. This project will deliver antiviral/antifouling coatings that can be readily applied to PPE surfaces such as faceshields that are likely to encounter a high level of viral load and would be of great benefit to the health of clinical staff. Furthermore, this project has embedded into its planning a rapid pathway for optimisation, translation, and upscaling of manufacture to deliver a low-cost technology within a short timescale.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/V011855/1
    Funder Contribution: 4,436,180 GBP
    Partners: Marine Minerals Ltd, Apto Solutions, Bullitt, Natural History Museum, Cornish Mining World Heritage, Ravel, Mkango Resources Limited, Cornwall Resources Limited, Critical Minerals Association, Roskill Information Services Ltd...

    The Circular Economy (CE) is a revolutionary alternative to a traditional linear, make-use-dispose economy. It is based on the central principle of maintaining continuous flows of resources at their highest value for the longest period and then recovering, cascading and regenerating products and materials at the end of each life cycle. Metals are ideal flows for a circular economy. With careful stewardship and good technology, metals mined from the Earth can be reused indefinitely. Technology metals (techmetals) are an essential, distinct, subset of specialist metals. Although they are used in much smaller quantities than industrial metals such as iron and aluminium, each techmetal has its own specific and special properties that give it essential functions in devices ranging from smart phones, batteries, wind turbines and solar cells to electric vehicles. Techmetals are thus essential enablers of a future circular, low carbon economy and demand for many is increasing rapidly. E.g., to meet the UK's 2050 ambition for offshore wind turbines will require 10 years' worth of global neodymium production. To replace all UK-based vehicles with electric vehicles would require 200% of cobalt and 75% of lithium currently produced globally each year. The UK is 100% reliant on imports of techmetals including from countries that represent geopolitical risks. Some techmetals are therefore called Critical Raw Materials (high economic importance and high risk of supply disruption). Only four of the 27 raw materials considered critical by the EU have an end-of-life recycling input rate higher than 10%. Our UKRI TechMet CE Centre brings together for the first time world-leading researchers to maximise opportunities around the provision of techmetals from primary and secondary sources, and lead materials stewardship, creating a National Techmetals Circular Economy Roadmap to accelerate us towards a circular economy. This will help the UK meet its Industrial Strategy Clean Growth agenda and its ambitious UK 2050 climate change targets with secure and environmentally-acceptable supplies of techmetals. There are many challenges to a future techmetal circular economy. With growing demand, new mining is needed and we must keep the environmental footprint of this primary production as low as possible. Materials stewardship of techmetals is difficult because their fate is often difficult to track. Most arrive in the UK 'hidden' in complex products from which they are difficult to recover. Collection is inefficient, consumers may not feel incentivised to recycle, and policy and legislative initiatives such as Extended Producer Responsibility focus on large volume metals rather than small quantity techmetals. There is a lack of end-to-end visibility and connection between different parts of techmetal value chains. The TechMet consortium brings together the Universities of Exeter, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester and the British Geological Survey who are already working on how to improve the raw materials cycle, manufacture goods to be re-used and recycled, recycle complex goods such as batteries and use and re-use equipment for as long as possible before it needs recycling. One of our first tasks is to track the current flows of techmetals through the UK economy, which although fundamental, is poorly known. The Centre will conduct new interdisciplinary research on interventions to improve each stage in the cycle and join up the value chain - raw materials can be newly mined and recycled, and manufacturing technology can be linked directly to re-use and recycling. The environmental footprint of our techmetals will be evaluated. Business, regulatory and social experts will recommend how the UK can best put all these stages together to make a new techmetals circular economy and produce a strategy for its implementation.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S023836/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,530,580 GBP
    Partners: AVID Vehicles Ltd, Saint Gobains Isover, Kurt J Lesker Co Ltd, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, University of Cambridge, Durham County Council, Equiwatt Limited, université du Luxembourg, YeadonIP Ltd, Knowledge Transfer Network Limited...

    The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is driven by industry and market needs, which indicate unprecedented growth in renewable and distributed energy to 2050. This growth is underpinned by global demand for electricity which will outstrip growth in demand for other sources by more than two to one (The drivers of global energy demand growth to 2050, 2016, McKinsey). A significant part of this demand will arise from vast numbers of distributed, but interconnected devices (estimated to reach 40 billion by 2024) serving sectors such as healthcare (for ageing populations) and personal transport (for reduced carbon dioxide emission). The distinctive remit of ReNU therefore is to focus on materials innovations for small-to-medium scale energy conversion and storage technologies that are sustainable and highly scalable. ReNU will be delivered by Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham Universities, whose world-leading expertise and excellent links with industry in this area have been recognised by the recent award of the North East Centre for Energy Materials (NECEM, award number: EP/R021503/1). This research-focused programme will be highly complementary to ReNU which is a training-focused programme. A key strength of the ReNU consortium is the breadth of expertise across the energy sector, including: thin film and new materials; direct solar energy conversion; turbines for wind, wave and tidal energy; piezoelectric and thermoelectric devices; water splitting; CO2 valorisation; batteries and fuel cells. Working closely with a balanced portfolio of 36 partners that includes multinational companies, small and medium size enterprises and local Government organisations, the ReNU team has designed a compelling doctoral training programme which aims to engender entrepreneurial skills which will drive UK regional and national productivity in the area of Clean Growth, one of four Grand Challenges identified in the UK Government's recent Industrial Strategy. The same group of partners will also provide significant input to the ReNU in the form of industrial supervision, training for doctoral candidates and supervisors, and access to facilities and equipment. Success in renewable energy and sustainable distributed energy fundamentally requires a whole systems approach as well as understanding of political, social and technical contexts. ReNU's doctoral training is thus naturally suited to a cohort approach in which cross-fertilisation of knowledge and ideas is necessary and embedded. The training programme also aims to address broader challenges facing wider society including unconscious bias training and outreach to address diversity issues in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects and industries. Furthermore, external professional accreditation will be sought for ReNU from the Institute of Physics, Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute of Engineering Technology, thus providing a starting point from which doctoral graduates will work towards "Chartered" status. The combination of an industry-driven doctoral training programme to meet identifiable market needs, strong industrial commitment through the provision of training, facilities and supervision, an established platform of research excellence in energy materials between the institutions and unique training opportunities that include internationalisation and professional accreditation, creates a transformative programme to drive forward UK innovation in renewable and sustainable distributed energy.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N018958/1
    Funder Contribution: 507,674 GBP
    Partners: University of Sheffield, 3DS, Maplesoft, Wolfram Research Europe Ltd, The Mathworks Ltd, University of London, University of Edinburgh, MICROSOFT RESEARCH LIMITED, N8 Research Partnership, University of Salford...

    "Software is the most prevalent of all the instruments used in modern science" [Goble 2014]. Scientific software is not just widely used [SSI 2014] but also widely developed. Yet much of it is developed by researchers who have little understanding of even the basics of modern software development with the knock-on effects to their productivity, and the reliability, readability and reproducibility of their software [Nature Biotechnology]. Many are long-tail researchers working in small groups - even Big Science operations like the SKA are operationally undertaken by individuals collectively. Technological development in software is more like a cliff-face than a ladder - there are many routes to the top, to a solution. Further, the cliff face is dynamic - constantly and quickly changing as new technologies emerge and decline. Determining which technologies to deploy and how best to deploy them is in itself a specialist domain, with many features of traditional research. Researchers need empowerment and training to give them confidence with the available equipment and the challenges they face. This role, akin to that of an Alpine guide, involves support, guidance, and load carrying. When optimally performed it results in a researcher who knows what challenges they can attack alone, and where they need appropriate support. Guides can help decide whether to exploit well-trodden paths or explore new possibilities as they navigate through this dynamic environment. These guides are highly trained, technology-centric, research-aware individuals who have a curiosity driven nature dedicated to supporting researchers by forging a research software support career. Such Research Software Engineers (RSEs) guide researchers through the technological landscape and form a human interface between scientist and computer. A well-functioning RSE group will not just add to an organisation's effectiveness, it will have a multiplicative effect since it will make every individual researcher more effective. It has the potential to improve the quality of research done across all University departments and faculties. My work plan provides a bottom-up approach to providing RSE services that is distinctive from yet complements the top-down approach provided by the EPRSC-funded Software Sustainability Institute. The outcomes of this fellowship will be: Local and National RSE Capability: A RSE Group at Sheffield as a credible roadmap for others pump-priming a UK national research software capability; and a national Continuing Professional Development programme for RSEs. Scalable software support methods: A scalable approach based on "nudging", to providing research software support for scientific software efficiency, sustainability and reproducibility, with quality-guidelines for research software and for researchers on how best to incorporate research software engineering support within their grant proposals. HPC for long-tail researchers: 'HPC-software ramps' and a pathway for standardised integration of HPC resources into Desktop Applications fit for modern scientific computing; a network of HPC-centric RSEs based around shared resources; and a portfolio of new research software courses developed with partners. Communication and public understanding: A communication campaign to raise the profile of research software exploiting high profile social media and online resources, establishing an informal forum for research software debate. References [Goble 2014] Goble, C. "Better Software, Better Research". IEEE Internet Computing 18(5): 4-8 (2014) [SSI 2014] Hettrick, S. "It's impossible to conduct research without software, say 7 out of 10 UK researchers" http://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2014-12-04-its-impossible-conduct-research-without-software-say-7-out-10-uk-researchers (2014) [Nature 2015] Editorial "Rule rewrite aims to clean up scientific software", Nature Biotechnology 520(7547) April 2015

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H009612/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,814,410 GBP
    Partners: University of London, Dept for Env Food & Rural Affairs DEFRA, Norwegian Uni of Science and Technology, Barratt Developments PLC, Buro Happold Limited, University of California, Berkeley, Royal Inst of British Architects RIBA, Helsinki University of Technology, EDF, Communities and Local Government...

    Reducing carbon emissions and securing energy supplies are crucial international goals to which energy demand reduction must make a major contribution. On a national level, demand reduction, deployment of new and renewable energy technologies, and decarbonisation of the energy supply are essential if the UK is to meet its legally binding carbon reduction targets. As a result, this area is an important theme within the EPSRC's strategic plan, but one that suffers from historical underinvestment and a serious shortage of appropriately skilled researchers. Major energy demand reductions are required within the working lifetime of Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) graduates, i.e. by 2050. Students will thus have to be capable of identifying and undertaking research that will have an impact within their 35 year post-doctoral career. The challenges will be exacerbated as our population ages, as climate change advances and as fuel prices rise: successful demand reduction requires both detailed technical knowledge and multi-disciplinary skills. The DTC will therefore span the interfaces between traditional disciplines to develop a training programme that teaches the context and process-bound problems of technology deployment, along with the communication and leadership skills needed to initiate real change within the tight time scale required. It will be jointly operated by University College London (UCL) and Loughborough University (LU); two world-class centres of energy research. Through the cross-faculty Energy Institute at UCL and Sustainability Research School at LU, over 80 academics have been identified who are able and willing to supervise DTC students. These experts span the full range of necessary disciplines from science and engineering to ergonomics and design, psychology and sociology through to economics and politics. The reputation of the universities will enable them to attract the very best students to this research area.The DTC will begin with a 1 year joint MRes programme followed by a 3 year PhD programme including a placement abroad and the opportunity for each DTC student to employ an undergraduate intern to assist them. Students will be trained in communication methods and alternative forms of public engagement. They will thus understand the energy challenges faced by the UK, appreciate the international energy landscape, develop people-management and communication skills, and so acquire the competence to make a tangible impact. An annual colloquium will be the focal point of the DTC year acting as a show-case and major mechanism for connection to the wider stakeholder community.The DTC will be led by internationally eminent academics (Prof Robert Lowe, Director, and Prof Kevin J Lomas, Deputy Director), together they have over 50 years of experience in this sector. They will be supported by a management structure headed by an Advisory Board chaired by Pascal Terrien, Director of the European Centre and Laboratories for Energy Efficiency Research and responsible for the Demand Reduction programme of the UK Energy Technology Institute. This will help secure the international, industrial and UK research linkages of the DTC.Students will receive a stipend that is competitive with other DTCs in the energy arena and, for work in certain areas, further enhancement from industrial sponsors. They will have a personal annual research allowance, an excellent research environment and access to resources. Both Universities are committed to energy research at the highest level, and each has invested over 3.2M in academic appointments, infrastructure development and other support, specifically to the energy demand reduction area. Each university will match the EPSRC funded studentships one-for-one, with funding from other sources. This DTC will therefore train at least 100 students over its 8 year life.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/W020408/1
    Funder Contribution: 2,652,180 GBP
    Partners: UNSW, University of Montreal, ARM Ltd, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Nasdaq, Inogesis, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Wavestone Advisors UK Limited, ETRI, Yoti Ltd...

    Digital technologies and services are shaping our lives. Work, education, finance, health, politics and society are all affected. They also raise concomitant and complex challenges relating to the security of and trust in systems and data. TIPS (Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security) issues thus lie at the heart of our adoption of new technologies and are critical to our economic prosperity and the well-being of our citizens. Identifying and addressing such issues requires a coherent, coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach, with strong stakeholder relationships at the centre. SPRITE+ is a vehicle for communication, engagement, and collaboration for people involved in research, practice, and policy relevant to TIPS in digital contexts. Since launching in 2019, we have established ourselves as the go-to point of contact to engage with the broadest UK network of interdisciplinary, cross-sector digital TIPS experts. The second phase of SPRITE+ ('SPRITE+2') will continue to build our membership, whilst expanding the breadth and depth of our innovation, and deepen our impact through proactive engagement. SPRITE+2 will have the following objectives: 1. Expand our TIPS community, harnessing the expertise and collaborative potential of the national and international TIPS communities 2. Identify and prioritise future TIPS research challenges 3. Explore and develop priority research areas to enhance our collective understanding of future global TIPS challenges 4. Stimulate innovative research through sandpits, industry led calls, and horizon scanning 5. Deepen engagement with TIPS research end users across sectors to accelerate knowledge Exchange 6. Understand, inform, and influence policy making and practice at regional, national and international level These will be delivered through four work packages and two cross cutting activities. All work packages will be led by the PI (Elliot) to ensure that connections are made and synergies exploited. Each sub-work package will be led by a member of the Management Team and supported by our Expert Fellows and Project Partners. WP1 Develop the Network We will deliver a set of activities designed to expand, broaden, and engage the network, from expert meetings and workshops to student bootcamps and international conferences. WP2 Engage stakeholders to enhance knowledge exchange and deliver impact. We will be greatly enhancing our purposive engagement activity in SPRITE+2. This activity will include a new business intelligence function and PP engagement grants, designed to enhance mutual understanding between researchers and stakeholders. WP3 Identify, prioritise, and explore future TIPS challenges We will select and then investigate priority areas of future TIPS. Two areas are pre-scoped based on the work we have done so far in SPRITE+ (TIPS in digital cities; trustworthy digital identities) with a further two be identified during the lead up to SPRITE+2. WP4 Drive innovation in research This WP concerns the initiation and production of high-quality impactful research. Through horizon scanning, sandpits and industry-led calls, we will steer ideas through an innovation pipeline ensuring SPRITE+2 is future focused. Cross cutting activities The first cross-cutting activity will accelerate the translation of TIPS research into policy and practice for public and private sector end uses. The second focuses on mechanisms to facilitate communication within our community. The experiences of SPRITE+ and the other DE Network+s demonstrate that it takes years of consistent and considerable effort for a new network to grow membership and develop productive relationships with stakeholders. In SPRITE+2 grant we would hit the ground running and maximise the impact of four additional years of funding. A successful track record, a well-established team, and a raft of ambitious new plans provide a solid foundation for strong delivery in 2023-27.

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188 Projects, page 1 of 19
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J008303/1
    Funder Contribution: 503,961 GBP
    Partners: University of Birmingham, Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd

    Extensive unexploited resources of heavy oil and bitumen exist, for example in Canada and Venezuela, as well as heavier deposits under the North Sea UK, which could potentially be utilized as the production of conventional light crude declines. Heavy oil and bitumen are more difficult to recover than conventional crude, requiring mining or specialized in-situ recovery techniques followed by upgrading to make them suitable for use as a fuel. Toe to heel air injection (THAITM) is an in-situ combustion and upgrading process in which air is injected to a horizontal well to feed combustion of a small fraction of the oil (up to 15 %). The heat generated causes the oil to flow along the well, where thermal upgrading reactions occur, leading to upgrading of the oil (by 4-6 API). CAPRI is a catalytic add-on to THAI in which catalyst is packed around the well to effect further catalytic upgrading reactions, such as hydrotreatment, however previous studies showed that the catalyst lifetime and process effectiveness are limited by coke deposition upon the catalyst. Additionally the costs and challenges of packing the well with pelleted catalyst prior to starting up also make the CAPRI process less economically attractive. The current proposal seeks to develop cheap, effective nanoparticulate catalysts which could be conveyed into the well by air or as slurry during operation, thereby avoiding the requirement for packing the well with catalyst prior to start up and to reduce the amount of deactivation and bed blockage that occurs by coke deposition upon pelleted catalysts. Initially, readily available iron oxide nanoparticles will be tested as a base-case. Nanoparticulate catalysts will also be prepared by supporting the metal upon bacteria, using a method in which metal containing solution is reduced in the presence of a bacterial culture, followed by centrifuge and drying which kills the live bacteria. The method has the advantages of being able to utilize scrap metal solutions and thus facilitate recycling of metals from waste sources, and it may be tuned to engineer nanoparticles of desired size and properties (e.g. crystal structures). Here we seek to develop, test and scale up the production of biogenic Fe catalysts for the upgrading of oil in the THAI process. Furthermore, waste road dusts contain deposits of catalytic metals from the exhaust of vehicular catalytic converters and these will be converted into cheap mixed metal catalysts by economically proven biohydrometallurgical methods for testing in the THAI process. Key to the effectiveness of utilizing nanoparticle catalysts will be the ability to contact them with oil in the mobile oil zone and flame front of the well, where the reaction is taking place. Studies of the rock void structure will be carried out using techniques such as X-Ray microtomography. Monte Carlo and Lattice Boltzmann simulations will be used to study the pneumatic conveying of particles into the reservoir and to study penetration and distribution of particles within the void space of the rocks. Conveying of slurry catalysts and process performance will be modeled using STARS reservoir simulation software. Evaluation of the different catalysts will be performed experimentally under real conditions using a rig developed under a previous project. The effect of variables such as gas:oil ratio, temperature, pressure and gas composition will be studied experimentally, in order to select the best catalyst and understand the conditions required for maximum upgrading. The experiments will also indicate whether catalyst deactivation occurs during use and enable conditions to be tuned to avoid deactivation.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/F012934/1
    Funder Contribution: 37,160 GBP
    Partners: University of Joensuu, University of Manitoba, Institute of Applied Technology, NGI, University of Maryland, Newcastle University, University of Patras, University of Tübingen

    This proposal will bring together sediment remediation engineers, ecotoxicologists and hydrogeochemists at an early stage of their career. They will gather for a one week launch event at Newcastle University to learn about each others conceptual understanding of sediment pollution issues and to discuss feasible solutions to these. The launch activities will include discipline hopping in oral presentations, one-on-one pairing of researchers from different disciplines explaining their research efforts to each other, practical training in the calibration and use of pollutant fate modelling tools, visits to local sites with sediment pollution, group discussion of possible solutions to international case studies of sediment pollution, and the conceptual design of better interdisciplinary models of sediment pollution and its effect on sediment-dwelling and aquatic organisms.During the launch event the researchers will submit proposals for people exchange activities with the partner institutions. Such individual visits will allow the researchers to deepen the mutual understanding of work at other institutions and in other disciplines. It is expected that future international and interdisciplinary research collaborations will emerge from such opportunities, and that the established personal contacts will continue to pay dividends throughout the career of the young participants.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/V000683/1
    Funder Contribution: 42,298 GBP
    Partners: University of Connecticut, McGill University, University of York

    A central goal of this Overseas Travel Grant proposal is the establishment of a network of leading researchers with expertise in bone and tooth formation who share the believe that a comprehensive understanding of the nanoscale organization of both mineral and organic phase is at the heart of the development of new approaches for medical treatments. The proposed methodology is making use of the advancement of high-resolution electron imaging and spectroscopy to gain insights into the 3D structure and composition on the nanoscale. This approach is of great importance for a full understanding of the mechanisms behind structure formation and potential failure mechanisms in bones and teeth. In a recent publication (Reznikov et al., Science 2018) we were able to identify 12 levels of organisation in bone from the nano- to the macroscopic scale with a self-similar organisation pattern emerging across the different length-scales. These findings indicate the importance to understand the structure of mineralised tissue on the nanoscale. Based on this work I aim to explore the application of nanoscale imaging using advanced electron microscopy and spectroscopy to mineralised tissue such as bone cells and teeth. In both cases it is highly exciting to gain a full image of the mineral/organic assembly in healthy and disease affected tissues. The complex interplay between the mineral and the organic phases in bones and teeth appears to strongly affect the properties of the resulting biomineral with significant effects of disruptions on the nanoscale due to mineralisation affecting diseases (e.g. osteogenesis imperfecta or amelogenesis imperfecta, osteoporosis, arthritis). Hence, this work will provide a platform for future collaboration with leading life scientists and clinicians and will enable to link the high-resolution information gained by the chosen approaches with diagnostic observations. Both hosts at McGill University in Montreal and University of Connecticut in Hartford provide ideal conditions for both training and research since they have an excellent international reputation on health related materials research and provide access to an outstanding set of experimental techniques to achieve the goals of this proposal.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G036950/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,371,160 GBP
    Partners: TIMET UK LIMITED, WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY UK LIMITED, Cummins Turbo Technologies (United Kingdom), Tata Steel (United Kingdom), Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL, Novelis Global Technology Centre, University of Sheffield, MEL Chemicals, Alcoa Europe Flat Rolled Products, Capcis Ltd...

    This is an application for a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) from the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester in Advanced Metallic Systems which will be directed by Prof Panos Tsakiropoulos and Prof Phil Prangnell. The proposed DTC is in response to recent reviews by the EPSRC and government/industrial bodies which have indentified the serious impact of an increasing shortage of personnel, with Doctorate level training in metallic materials, on the global competitiveness of the UK's manufacturing and defence capability. Furthermore, future applications of materials are increasingly being seen as systems that incorporate several material classes and engineered surfaces into single components, to increase performance.The primary goal of the DTC is to address these issues head on by supplying the next generation of metallics research specialists desperately needed by UK plc. We plan to attract talented students from a diverse range of physical science and engineering backgrounds and involve them with highly motivated academic staff in a variety of innovative teaching and industrial-based research activities. The programme aims to prepare graduates for global challenges in competitiveness, through an enhanced PhD programme that will:1. Challenge students and promote independent problem solving and interdiscpilnarity,2. Expose them to industrial innovation, exciting new science and the international research community, 3. Increase their fundamental skills, and broaden them as individuals in preparation for future management and leadership roles.The DTC will be aligned with major multidisciplinary research centres and with the strong involvement of NAMTEC (the National Metals Technology Centre) and over twenty companies across many sectors. Learning will be up to date and industrially relevant, as well as benefitting from access to 30M of state-of-the art research facilities.Research projects will be targeted at high value UK strategic technology sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, power generation, renewables, and defence and aim to:1. Provide a multidisciplinary approach to the whole product life cycle; from raw material, to semi finished products to forming, joining, surface engineering/coating, in service performance and recycling via the wide skill base of the combined academic team and industrial collaborators.2. Improve the basic understanding of how nano-, micro- and meso-scale physical processes control material microstructures and thereby properties, in order to radically improve industrial processes, and advance techniques of modelling and process simulation.3. Develop new innovative processes and processing routes, i.e. disruptive or transformative technologies.4. Address challenges in energy by the development of advanced metallic solutions and manufacturing technologies for nuclear power, reduced CO2 emissions, and renewable energy. 5. Study issues and develop techniques for interfacing metallic materials into advanced hybrid structures with polymers, laminates, foams and composites etc. 6. Develop novel coatings and surface treatments to protect new light alloys and hybrid structures, in hostile environments, reduce environmental impact of chemical treatments and add value and increase functionality. 7. Reduce environmental impact through reductions in process energy costs and concurrently develop new materials that address the environmental challenges in weight saving and recyclability technologies. This we believe will produce PhD graduates with a superior skills base enabling problem solving and leadership expertise well beyond a conventional PhD project, i.e. a DTC with a structured programme and stimulating methods of engagement, will produce internationally competitive doctoral graduates that can engage with today's diverse metallurgical issues and contribute to the development of a high level knowledge-based UK manufacturing sector.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/V043811/1
    Funder Contribution: 497,214 GBP
    Partners: University of Toronto, University of Liverpool

    Coronaviruses are transmitted from an infectious individual through large respiratory droplets generated by coughing, sneezing or speaking. These infectious droplets are then transmitted to the mucosal surfaces of a recipient through inhalation of the aerosol or by contact with contaminated fomites such as surfaces or other objects. In healthcare settings, personal protective equipment (PPE) plays a crucial role in interrupting the transmission of highly communicable diseases such as COVID19 from patients to healthcare workers (HCWs). However, research has shown that PPE can also act as a fomite during the donning and doffing process as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can survive on these surfaces for up to three days. This creates a need for more effective PPE materials that can provide antiviral protection. In this proposal we aim to develop a dual action antiviral/antifouling coating to lower the risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 to HCWs from COVID19 patients. This project will deliver antiviral/antifouling coatings that can be readily applied to PPE surfaces such as faceshields that are likely to encounter a high level of viral load and would be of great benefit to the health of clinical staff. Furthermore, this project has embedded into its planning a rapid pathway for optimisation, translation, and upscaling of manufacture to deliver a low-cost technology within a short timescale.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/V011855/1
    Funder Contribution: 4,436,180 GBP
    Partners: Marine Minerals Ltd, Apto Solutions, Bullitt, Natural History Museum, Cornish Mining World Heritage, Ravel, Mkango Resources Limited, Cornwall Resources Limited, Critical Minerals Association, Roskill Information Services Ltd...

    The Circular Economy (CE) is a revolutionary alternative to a traditional linear, make-use-dispose economy. It is based on the central principle of maintaining continuous flows of resources at their highest value for the longest period and then recovering, cascading and regenerating products and materials at the end of each life cycle. Metals are ideal flows for a circular economy. With careful stewardship and good technology, metals mined from the Earth can be reused indefinitely. Technology metals (techmetals) are an essential, distinct, subset of specialist metals. Although they are used in much smaller quantities than industrial metals such as iron and aluminium, each techmetal has its own specific and special properties that give it essential functions in devices ranging from smart phones, batteries, wind turbines and solar cells to electric vehicles. Techmetals are thus essential enablers of a future circular, low carbon economy and demand for many is increasing rapidly. E.g., to meet the UK's 2050 ambition for offshore wind turbines will require 10 years' worth of global neodymium production. To replace all UK-based vehicles with electric vehicles would require 200% of cobalt and 75% of lithium currently produced globally each year. The UK is 100% reliant on imports of techmetals including from countries that represent geopolitical risks. Some techmetals are therefore called Critical Raw Materials (high economic importance and high risk of supply disruption). Only four of the 27 raw materials considered critical by the EU have an end-of-life recycling input rate higher than 10%. Our UKRI TechMet CE Centre brings together for the first time world-leading researchers to maximise opportunities around the provision of techmetals from primary and secondary sources, and lead materials stewardship, creating a National Techmetals Circular Economy Roadmap to accelerate us towards a circular economy. This will help the UK meet its Industrial Strategy Clean Growth agenda and its ambitious UK 2050 climate change targets with secure and environmentally-acceptable supplies of techmetals. There are many challenges to a future techmetal circular economy. With growing demand, new mining is needed and we must keep the environmental footprint of this primary production as low as possible. Materials stewardship of techmetals is difficult because their fate is often difficult to track. Most arrive in the UK 'hidden' in complex products from which they are difficult to recover. Collection is inefficient, consumers may not feel incentivised to recycle, and policy and legislative initiatives such as Extended Producer Responsibility focus on large volume metals rather than small quantity techmetals. There is a lack of end-to-end visibility and connection between different parts of techmetal value chains. The TechMet consortium brings together the Universities of Exeter, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester and the British Geological Survey who are already working on how to improve the raw materials cycle, manufacture goods to be re-used and recycled, recycle complex goods such as batteries and use and re-use equipment for as long as possible before it needs recycling. One of our first tasks is to track the current flows of techmetals through the UK economy, which although fundamental, is poorly known. The Centre will conduct new interdisciplinary research on interventions to improve each stage in the cycle and join up the value chain - raw materials can be newly mined and recycled, and manufacturing technology can be linked directly to re-use and recycling. The environmental footprint of our techmetals will be evaluated. Business, regulatory and social experts will recommend how the UK can best put all these stages together to make a new techmetals circular economy and produce a strategy for its implementation.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S023836/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,530,580 GBP
    Partners: AVID Vehicles Ltd, Saint Gobains Isover, Kurt J Lesker Co Ltd, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, University of Cambridge, Durham County Council, Equiwatt Limited, université du Luxembourg, YeadonIP Ltd, Knowledge Transfer Network Limited...

    The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is driven by industry and market needs, which indicate unprecedented growth in renewable and distributed energy to 2050. This growth is underpinned by global demand for electricity which will outstrip growth in demand for other sources by more than two to one (The drivers of global energy demand growth to 2050, 2016, McKinsey). A significant part of this demand will arise from vast numbers of distributed, but interconnected devices (estimated to reach 40 billion by 2024) serving sectors such as healthcare (for ageing populations) and personal transport (for reduced carbon dioxide emission). The distinctive remit of ReNU therefore is to focus on materials innovations for small-to-medium scale energy conversion and storage technologies that are sustainable and highly scalable. ReNU will be delivered by Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham Universities, whose world-leading expertise and excellent links with industry in this area have been recognised by the recent award of the North East Centre for Energy Materials (NECEM, award number: EP/R021503/1). This research-focused programme will be highly complementary to ReNU which is a training-focused programme. A key strength of the ReNU consortium is the breadth of expertise across the energy sector, including: thin film and new materials; direct solar energy conversion; turbines for wind, wave and tidal energy; piezoelectric and thermoelectric devices; water splitting; CO2 valorisation; batteries and fuel cells. Working closely with a balanced portfolio of 36 partners that includes multinational companies, small and medium size enterprises and local Government organisations, the ReNU team has designed a compelling doctoral training programme which aims to engender entrepreneurial skills which will drive UK regional and national productivity in the area of Clean Growth, one of four Grand Challenges identified in the UK Government's recent Industrial Strategy. The same group of partners will also provide significant input to the ReNU in the form of industrial supervision, training for doctoral candidates and supervisors, and access to facilities and equipment. Success in renewable energy and sustainable distributed energy fundamentally requires a whole systems approach as well as understanding of political, social and technical contexts. ReNU's doctoral training is thus naturally suited to a cohort approach in which cross-fertilisation of knowledge and ideas is necessary and embedded. The training programme also aims to address broader challenges facing wider society including unconscious bias training and outreach to address diversity issues in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects and industries. Furthermore, external professional accreditation will be sought for ReNU from the Institute of Physics, Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute of Engineering Technology, thus providing a starting point from which doctoral graduates will work towards "Chartered" status. The combination of an industry-driven doctoral training programme to meet identifiable market needs, strong industrial commitment through the provision of training, facilities and supervision, an established platform of research excellence in energy materials between the institutions and unique training opportunities that include internationalisation and professional accreditation, creates a transformative programme to drive forward UK innovation in renewable and sustainable distributed energy.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N018958/1
    Funder Contribution: 507,674 GBP
    Partners: University of Sheffield, 3DS, Maplesoft, Wolfram Research Europe Ltd, The Mathworks Ltd, University of London, University of Edinburgh, MICROSOFT RESEARCH LIMITED, N8 Research Partnership, University of Salford...

    "Software is the most prevalent of all the instruments used in modern science" [Goble 2014]. Scientific software is not just widely used [SSI 2014] but also widely developed. Yet much of it is developed by researchers who have little understanding of even the basics of modern software development with the knock-on effects to their productivity, and the reliability, readability and reproducibility of their software [Nature Biotechnology]. Many are long-tail researchers working in small groups - even Big Science operations like the SKA are operationally undertaken by individuals collectively. Technological development in software is more like a cliff-face than a ladder - there are many routes to the top, to a solution. Further, the cliff face is dynamic - constantly and quickly changing as new technologies emerge and decline. Determining which technologies to deploy and how best to deploy them is in itself a specialist domain, with many features of traditional research. Researchers need empowerment and training to give them confidence with the available equipment and the challenges they face. This role, akin to that of an Alpine guide, involves support, guidance, and load carrying. When optimally performed it results in a researcher who knows what challenges they can attack alone, and where they need appropriate support. Guides can help decide whether to exploit well-trodden paths or explore new possibilities as they navigate through this dynamic environment. These guides are highly trained, technology-centric, research-aware individuals who have a curiosity driven nature dedicated to supporting researchers by forging a research software support career. Such Research Software Engineers (RSEs) guide researchers through the technological landscape and form a human interface between scientist and computer. A well-functioning RSE group will not just add to an organisation's effectiveness, it will have a multiplicative effect since it will make every individual researcher more effective. It has the potential to improve the quality of research done across all University departments and faculties. My work plan provides a bottom-up approach to providing RSE services that is distinctive from yet complements the top-down approach provided by the EPRSC-funded Software Sustainability Institute. The outcomes of this fellowship will be: Local and National RSE Capability: A RSE Group at Sheffield as a credible roadmap for others pump-priming a UK national research software capability; and a national Continuing Professional Development programme for RSEs. Scalable software support methods: A scalable approach based on "nudging", to providing research software support for scientific software efficiency, sustainability and reproducibility, with quality-guidelines for research software and for researchers on how best to incorporate research software engineering support within their grant proposals. HPC for long-tail researchers: 'HPC-software ramps' and a pathway for standardised integration of HPC resources into Desktop Applications fit for modern scientific computing; a network of HPC-centric RSEs based around shared resources; and a portfolio of new research software courses developed with partners. Communication and public understanding: A communication campaign to raise the profile of research software exploiting high profile social media and online resources, establishing an informal forum for research software debate. References [Goble 2014] Goble, C. "Better Software, Better Research". IEEE Internet Computing 18(5): 4-8 (2014) [SSI 2014] Hettrick, S. "It's impossible to conduct research without software, say 7 out of 10 UK researchers" http://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2014-12-04-its-impossible-conduct-research-without-software-say-7-out-10-uk-researchers (2014) [Nature 2015] Editorial "Rule rewrite aims to clean up scientific software", Nature Biotechnology 520(7547) April 2015

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H009612/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,814,410 GBP
    Partners: University of London, Dept for Env Food & Rural Affairs DEFRA, Norwegian Uni of Science and Technology, Barratt Developments PLC, Buro Happold Limited, University of California, Berkeley, Royal Inst of British Architects RIBA, Helsinki University of Technology, EDF, Communities and Local Government...

    Reducing carbon emissions and securing energy supplies are crucial international goals to which energy demand reduction must make a major contribution. On a national level, demand reduction, deployment of new and renewable energy technologies, and decarbonisation of the energy supply are essential if the UK is to meet its legally binding carbon reduction targets. As a result, this area is an important theme within the EPSRC's strategic plan, but one that suffers from historical underinvestment and a serious shortage of appropriately skilled researchers. Major energy demand reductions are required within the working lifetime of Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) graduates, i.e. by 2050. Students will thus have to be capable of identifying and undertaking research that will have an impact within their 35 year post-doctoral career. The challenges will be exacerbated as our population ages, as climate change advances and as fuel prices rise: successful demand reduction requires both detailed technical knowledge and multi-disciplinary skills. The DTC will therefore span the interfaces between traditional disciplines to develop a training programme that teaches the context and process-bound problems of technology deployment, along with the communication and leadership skills needed to initiate real change within the tight time scale required. It will be jointly operated by University College London (UCL) and Loughborough University (LU); two world-class centres of energy research. Through the cross-faculty Energy Institute at UCL and Sustainability Research School at LU, over 80 academics have been identified who are able and willing to supervise DTC students. These experts span the full range of necessary disciplines from science and engineering to ergonomics and design, psychology and sociology through to economics and politics. The reputation of the universities will enable them to attract the very best students to this research area.The DTC will begin with a 1 year joint MRes programme followed by a 3 year PhD programme including a placement abroad and the opportunity for each DTC student to employ an undergraduate intern to assist them. Students will be trained in communication methods and alternative forms of public engagement. They will thus understand the energy challenges faced by the UK, appreciate the international energy landscape, develop people-management and communication skills, and so acquire the competence to make a tangible impact. An annual colloquium will be the focal point of the DTC year acting as a show-case and major mechanism for connection to the wider stakeholder community.The DTC will be led by internationally eminent academics (Prof Robert Lowe, Director, and Prof Kevin J Lomas, Deputy Director), together they have over 50 years of experience in this sector. They will be supported by a management structure headed by an Advisory Board chaired by Pascal Terrien, Director of the European Centre and Laboratories for Energy Efficiency Research and responsible for the Demand Reduction programme of the UK Energy Technology Institute. This will help secure the international, industrial and UK research linkages of the DTC.Students will receive a stipend that is competitive with other DTCs in the energy arena and, for work in certain areas, further enhancement from industrial sponsors. They will have a personal annual research allowance, an excellent research environment and access to resources. Both Universities are committed to energy research at the highest level, and each has invested over 3.2M in academic appointments, infrastructure development and other support, specifically to the energy demand reduction area. Each university will match the EPSRC funded studentships one-for-one, with funding from other sources. This DTC will therefore train at least 100 students over its 8 year life.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/W020408/1
    Funder Contribution: 2,652,180 GBP
    Partners: UNSW, University of Montreal, ARM Ltd, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Nasdaq, Inogesis, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Wavestone Advisors UK Limited, ETRI, Yoti Ltd...

    Digital technologies and services are shaping our lives. Work, education, finance, health, politics and society are all affected. They also raise concomitant and complex challenges relating to the security of and trust in systems and data. TIPS (Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security) issues thus lie at the heart of our adoption of new technologies and are critical to our economic prosperity and the well-being of our citizens. Identifying and addressing such issues requires a coherent, coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach, with strong stakeholder relationships at the centre. SPRITE+ is a vehicle for communication, engagement, and collaboration for people involved in research, practice, and policy relevant to TIPS in digital contexts. Since launching in 2019, we have established ourselves as the go-to point of contact to engage with the broadest UK network of interdisciplinary, cross-sector digital TIPS experts. The second phase of SPRITE+ ('SPRITE+2') will continue to build our membership, whilst expanding the breadth and depth of our innovation, and deepen our impact through proactive engagement. SPRITE+2 will have the following objectives: 1. Expand our TIPS community, harnessing the expertise and collaborative potential of the national and international TIPS communities 2. Identify and prioritise future TIPS research challenges 3. Explore and develop priority research areas to enhance our collective understanding of future global TIPS challenges 4. Stimulate innovative research through sandpits, industry led calls, and horizon scanning 5. Deepen engagement with TIPS research end users across sectors to accelerate knowledge Exchange 6. Understand, inform, and influence policy making and practice at regional, national and international level These will be delivered through four work packages and two cross cutting activities. All work packages will be led by the PI (Elliot) to ensure that connections are made and synergies exploited. Each sub-work package will be led by a member of the Management Team and supported by our Expert Fellows and Project Partners. WP1 Develop the Network We will deliver a set of activities designed to expand, broaden, and engage the network, from expert meetings and workshops to student bootcamps and international conferences. WP2 Engage stakeholders to enhance knowledge exchange and deliver impact. We will be greatly enhancing our purposive engagement activity in SPRITE+2. This activity will include a new business intelligence function and PP engagement grants, designed to enhance mutual understanding between researchers and stakeholders. WP3 Identify, prioritise, and explore future TIPS challenges We will select and then investigate priority areas of future TIPS. Two areas are pre-scoped based on the work we have done so far in SPRITE+ (TIPS in digital cities; trustworthy digital identities) with a further two be identified during the lead up to SPRITE+2. WP4 Drive innovation in research This WP concerns the initiation and production of high-quality impactful research. Through horizon scanning, sandpits and industry-led calls, we will steer ideas through an innovation pipeline ensuring SPRITE+2 is future focused. Cross cutting activities The first cross-cutting activity will accelerate the translation of TIPS research into policy and practice for public and private sector end uses. The second focuses on mechanisms to facilitate communication within our community. The experiences of SPRITE+ and the other DE Network+s demonstrate that it takes years of consistent and considerable effort for a new network to grow membership and develop productive relationships with stakeholders. In SPRITE+2 grant we would hit the ground running and maximise the impact of four additional years of funding. A successful track record, a well-established team, and a raft of ambitious new plans provide a solid foundation for strong delivery in 2023-27.