UKERC manages a flexible research fund that will be allocated through a series of open research calls, overseen by an independent Research Committee. Around £3.3 million will be available for the flexible research fund during this phase of UKERC. Three targeted calls are envisaged during 2015 and 2016.

The flexible research fund has a number of objectives, including:

  • To bring a wider range of researchers and disciplines into UKERC’s research programme, including researchers from outside the energy community;
  • To build collaborations between the UKERC research community and other research communities – including other energy researchers, groups and centres;
  • To allow the research programme to develop flexibility in the light of new scientific insights or external developments (e.g. in energy policy);
  • To fill gaps in the UKERC research programme and/or the wider Research Councils Energy Programme; and
  • To scope and develop new research agendas in partnership with funders, the research community and other stakeholders.

Research Fund Round 1

In June 2014, an initial Town Hall Meeting was held at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources in London, to discuss potential priorities for flexible funding. Around forty academics and representatives of other organisations attended the meeting. Based on the outcomes of the Town Meeting and following consultations with the UKERC Research Committee, the focus of the first round of funding was on two areas:

  • Incumbent energy systems and infrastructures
  • Equity and justice in energy systems

Research Fund Round 2

A second Town Meeting was held at Imperial College in December 2015 in order to determine potential priorities for the second round of the Research Fund. In this instance the discussion built on the priority areas that were identified in the first consultation round. However, there was also an opportunity to suggest additional research areas of questions. Based on the outcomes of the second Town Meeting and following consultations with the UKERC Research Committee, the focus of the second round of funding was on three areas:

  • Financing community energy
  • Bioenergy with CCS (BECCS)
  • Accelerating emission reductions in transport

 

Research Fund Round 3

A third workshop was held at Imperial College in October 2016 in order to identify potential priorities under the third round of funding of the Research Fund. The discussions focused on general research ideas, as well as topics under the wider area of the impact of non-energy policies on the energy system. This research area was identified in previous consultation rounds; discussions were informed by a scoping review undertaken in order to determine opportunities for future research.

 

 

Research Fund Round 2

A second Town Meeting was held at Imperial College in December 2015 in order to determine potential priorities for the second round of the Research Fund. In this instance the discussion built on the priority areas that were identified in the first consultation round. However, there was also an opportunity to suggest additional research areas of questions. The report of that event can be found below:

UKERC Research Fund Town Meeting, December 2015 - See more at: http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/about-us/flexible-research-fund.html#sthash.j3zdWf1y.dpuf