Company collaboration: award winner and runners-up | Universities

Winner: College of Birmingham

Challenge: The University of Birmingham and Porterbrook: creating Hydroflex, the world’s initial retro-equipped hydrogen educate

In 2018, the then transport minister, Jo Johnson, challenged the rail sector to decarbonise the railway community.

He needed diesel trains taken out by 2040 to assistance accomplish the government’s intention for web-zero carbon emissions for the Uk as a whole by 2050.

The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Training at the University of Birmingham was on the scenario.

The prospects of hydrogen electrical power were demonstrated at the Rail Are living trade demonstrate in June 2018 by a college student-led venture. This impressed Porterbrook, which owns, leases and maintains rolling stock, to url up with the Birmingham centre. Alongside one another, they resolved to explore converting an outdated Thameslink electric prepare into 1 powered by hydrogen.

Porterbrook supplied the practice, a fuel cell to change the hydrogen into electricity, and engineering staff members – a £850,000 expense in full. The college presented workers and investigate time to the value of £350,000.

The fuel mobile, battery, hydrogen storage tanks and other similar tools ended up all located in the motor vehicle, allowing the teach to run both equally across current electric powered routes and in self-driven manner, with out diesel.

The challenge was concluded inside nine months – in time to have 500 people, which includes the chairman and chief govt of Community Rail, the secretary of condition for transport, the shadow transport secretary and customers of the international press, on a doing the job HydroFLEX coach at the Rail Are living show in 2019.

The passengers were amazed enough for the plan to receive £350,000 in Innovate United kingdom funding from the Department for Transport for mainline testing of a hydrogen-fuelled train this year.

The scheme has also gained worldwide recognition. Parallel investigate arising from the Hydroflex venture has supported the procurement procedure of hydrogen trains in California, although the centre has also been included in developing hydrogen trains in the German location of Saxony.

As a end result, the University of Birmingham is envisioned to be at the forefront of innovation in the hydrogen provide chain in the United kingdom, which is forecast to develop to be worth £1.6m for each working day and have world-wide affect.

Runner-up: Manchester Metropolitan University

Job: Manchester Gas Mobile Innovation Centre

Fuel cells are gadgets that crank out electrical energy by oxidising fuel. They can incorporate hydrogen and oxygen to deliver electric power and warmth, with the only byproduct being h2o. As a result, they are more and more observed as a probable eco-friendly substitution for fossil fuels.

The Gasoline Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, a general public personal partnership supporting exploration and progress of these systems in Europe, estimates that the hydrogen and gas cells sector will make 30 million work and $2,000 billion yearly profits around the world by 2050.

Manchester Metropolitan University was keen to be at the forefront of this new technologies, specifically as it has built a commitment to be a zero-carbon university by 2038 and to assist Manchester’s endeavours to be a zero-carbon city inside of 20 years.

The £4.1m Manchester Fuel Mobile Innovation Centre was set up with the support of £1.7m of European regional evelopment funding, with match funding from the university, and opened in September 2018.

It delivers jointly marketplace and academic scientists and authorities, organization aid from the college company school, and coverage and project advancement assistance by the greater Manchester hydrogen partnership, which it prospects and which features increased Manchester blended authority, Transport for Increased Manchester, Manchester Airports Group and other regional universities.

The centre allows modest businesses have an understanding of the prospects introduced by hydrogen and gas cell technological know-how by presenting workshops, information, coaching, practical classes, steerage on how to innovate, and entry to the engineering. It is also performing with partners intrigued in applying hydrogen and fuel cells, such as bigger Manchester law enforcement.

Inside of a few months of the formal opening it had obtained its concentrate on of 50 smaller- and medium-sized company partnerships.

It has also collaborated with companies outdoors Manchester. Researchers at the centre operating with the European Marine Electricity Centre have been awarded £275,000 to lessen the price of hydrogen generation as a result of electrolysis and the centre’s schooling arm has labored with partners in France, Italy, Belgium and Romania.

It has now secured an further grant of £0.5 million to extend guidance to a more 30 firms and has delivered a draft hydrogen and gasoline mobile technique for Better Manchester.

Runner-up: Universities of Bathtub, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey

Task: SETsquared Scale-Up Programme

SETsquared is a partnership concerning 5 study-led universities in the south of England that supports business people to switch strategies into successful organizations.

Since launching in 2002, it has supported a lot more than 4,000 business owners, supporting them to increase £1.8 billion of financial commitment and to lead around £8.6 billion to the Uk overall economy.

Its Scale-Up Programme started out in 2018 with £10.9 million in funding from the university partners and Study England, which fully commited £5 million about a few several years to the venture. It aims to guidance firms at the future phase of enhancement: capable of scaling globally but that have to have college-quality innovation to realise their ambitions.

Scale-Up inbound links organizations and analysis skills from the spouse universities – Tub, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey – allowing corporations to establish the most suitable researcher or analysis crew to enable with the sort of innovation they require. Enterprise development specialists then assist them place collectively R&D funding proposals and elevate private financial investment.

The scheme targets corporations in sectors that present the greatest possible financial affect in the south of England – digital innovation, sustainable technologies, state-of-the-art engineering and production and well being and wellbeing. Administrators direct on each individual priority sector and an innovation adviser is centered at every single husband or wife college to deliver a url to researchers.

The scheme also consists of college and small business industry experts putting with each other white papers assessing opportunity options for collaboration, which they then industry to the teachers and firms included in the partnership.

Companies and researchers can then use for help from stimulus resources to obtain grants writers and investment industry experts to support with bids.

So considerably, 246 providers have joined Scale-Up and these have engaged in 140 collaborative R&D initiatives with the partner universities, which have brought £5.08 million more funding into these universities.