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Research hub to support resilience and decarbonisation

The Government has announced that it is pledging significant funding to supporting the decarbonisation of transport through innovation, as it establishes a new research hub.

Applications are opening today to host the new hub, as the Department for Transport pledging £10 million worth of funding to ensure that the site becomes a UK centre of excellence for transport innovation.

At the moment, 27% off the UK’s emissions come from transport which makes the role of the Net Zero Transport for a Resilient Future Hub even more important. Through innovations such as greater use of recycled materials and a reduced carbon footprint for repairs and maintenance, the government is planning to reduce this carbon contribution.

Jesse Norman, Decarbonisation Minister, said:

“Innovation is key to the growth off the transport sector, and the creation of high-skilled jobs and business opportunities across the UK.

This new UK research hub will build a centre of excellence for the future development of low-carbon transport.”

Alongside decarbonisation, the hub will be looing to ensure that the future of UK transport is resilient and meets the challenges of climate adaption. This includes weather changes and changing water levels.

The hub will be expected to research into many areas, including:

  • Solutions for resilient transport infrastructure – researching ways to improve the design of transport related infrastructure to better cope with the potential impacts and reduce emissions, for example increasing use of recycled materials, increasing biodiversity in projects, or ways to use fewer materials.
  • Streetscape – designing streets to minimise carbon emissions, improve drivers’ and pedestrians’ mental health and wellbeing, and ensure their resilience to potential climate impacts.
  • Localised climate modelling of temperature, sea-level and weather – gaining a better understanding of potential climate impacts on specific areas, in part, to prioritise those places most in need for possible adaptive measures and projects.
  • Bridge the gap between infrastructure research and policy – researching ways to shorten the time between developing innovative solutions and their wider adoption.

UK Research and Innovation Building a Green Future lead, Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, said:

“A partnership between the Department for Transport and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Net Zero Transport Infrastructure for a Resilient Future Research Hub will lead the cross-UK research that is needed to effect transformational change in the transport sector.

“It will lead future developments to decarbonise our transport sector, a crucial component of achieving the UK’s net zero 22050 target.

“It will also help to ensure our transport systems remain resilient to hazards caused by extreme weather events and climactic changes that are already apparent.”

Funding from the hub will come through the UKRI’s Building a Green Future strategic theme, aiming to speed up the UK’s transition to a ‘secure and prosperous green economy’ by 2050.

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