The purpose is to increase participation and visibility of underrepresented groups within the energy sector. We are targeting female researchers, and aim to have a strong Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) presence.

The aim is to create a network of unique and innovative women, and to provide space and resources for women to establish long‐term, meaningful collaborations. The funds from this project will be spent on three distinct events, and four competitive bursaries for researcher exchanges.

  1. A networking event including a speed networking activity, talks from individuals experienced in collaboration and funding success, and an afternoon training event on assertiveness, persuasive communication and negotiation.
  2. A two‐day intensive writing retreat, to produce collaborative grant applications, academic publications, policy briefs and/or technical papers. A facilitator will help identify common areas of overlap, and specific focused time will be spent creating work.
  3. Follow up day, for participants to come together to tie‐up and submit produced outputs. Participants will present work and undertake further networking.

The events are designed to increase visibility by fostering creation of genuine collaborative opportunities. We will encourage collaborations focusing on decarbonisation of heat using a whole systems approach as this lies within our expertise. These events are open to individuals from academia, industry and government who identify as female, and/or BAME and are working within the UKERC remit.

A system that meets heat demand is inherently integrated across the energy system, with potential trade‐offs between many energy carriers, infrastructures and end‐use options. Vast amounts of heat decarbonisation research is occurring, but in a fragmented manner. Addressing this issue requires a collaborative multi‐disciplinary, wholes systems approach. This new hub will take initial steps towards creating genuine, lasting collaboration with individuals from different backgrounds. In the long‐term, the network will act as a central hub for academics, policy‐makers and industry to source collaborators who work in industrial and domestic heat decarbonisation.

Project contacts: Dr Zoe Harris & Dr Gbemi Oluleye, Imperial College (z.harris@imperial.ac.uk; o.oluleye@imperial.ac.uk)