New research hub to help decarbonise transport and boost jobs

2nd February 2023


The UK government has pledged £10m in funding for a new research hub that will look to boost innovation in transport and create low-carbon jobs over the next 25 years.

The ‘Net Zero Transport for a Resilience Future Research Hub’ will look specifically at decarbonisation solutions, such as greater use of recycled materials and reducing the carbon footprint of repairs and maintenance.

It will also develop and implement innovative ideas to ensure future transport meets the challenges of climate adaption, such as changes to weather and water levels.

Applications are open today for organisations to host the new hub, which decarbonisation minister Jesse Norman said would be a “centre of excellence” for transport innovation as the country looks to achieve it’s net-zero goals.

He continued: “Innovation is key to the growth of 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.”

Some of the areas the hub will be expected to research include:

• Solutions for resilient transport infrastructure: 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, in order 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.

By working to develop real-world solutions across a wide range of academic disciplines, such as architecture and design, computing, and behavioural sciences, it is hoped that the hub could lead to high-skilled jobs across the UK.

This comes after IEMA recently launched its Green Careers Hub which will help anyone – from any sector or background – understand how they can play a role in the wider green economy.

IEMA, in partnership with Deloitte, also published a report last year outlining how organisations can accelerate the development of green skills across the UK workforce.

Speaking at the report's launch, IEMA CEO, Sarah Mukherjee MBE, said: "We believe that every job must be greener to tackle our greenhouse gas emissions and achieve a net-zero status by 2050. The latest IPCC report highlighted a small window of opportunity to act.

"As the majority of the workforce are in place already, we really must help organisations assess the readiness of their staff to participate in the ‘green economy’ and to identify the practical steps that can be taken to increase preparedness."

Photo by Christian Lendl on Unsplash

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