Bids from five outstanding university organisations have today been short-listed to host the UK's new Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

In a speech this morning on energy policy at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling said: "The Energy Technologies Institute is a unique venture. With a potential billion pound budget, it is bringing together government and some of the world's biggest companies and will help to establish the UK as one of the leaders in global clean energy development.

"The host will be the base for the Institute's Director and support staff and we anticipate it developing into a strategic focus for low carbon technology innovation in the UK and for international collaboration." Bids were assessed by representatives of the funding organisations on the basis of energy research capability, reputation and culture; space, facilities and accessibility; and commitment to the ETI. The five short-listed are:

* Midland Consortium - University of Nottingham with Loughborough and Birmingham

* North East Consortium - University of Newcastle with Durham, Northumbria, NaREC (New and Renewable Energy Centre) and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI)

* North West Consortium - University of Manchester with Lancaster, Liverpool and NWDA (North West Development Agency)

* Energy Technology Partnership from Scotland - Universities of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, St Andrews and Heriot-Watt

* Sheffield University (Advanced Manufacturing Park)

Representatives of the funding organisations will now visit each of those short-listed and will make a final recommendation to the ETI Board by the early Autumn. There will be a range of opportunities for all high calibre research organisations to engage in the research activities of the ETI as the technical priorities begin to emerge.

The ETI is bringing together some of the world's biggest companies - BP, E.ON UK, Shell, EDF Energy, Rolls-Royce, Caterpillar, and Scottish and Southern Energy Group. Their funding contribution, along with Government, provides the Institute with a potential budget of over #600 million over a lifetime of a minimum of 10 years.