Engineering Net Zero

Side view of a female employee inspecting newly manufactured solar panels in company

An introduction to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Engineering Net Zero (ENZ) week.

ENZ is a collaborative series of events with researchers, key industry partners and policy makers.  It will showcase the key role engineering and physical sciences research must play in achieving both the UK and global net zero targets.

This flagship week will place between:

  • 20 – 24 June 2022: with a series of branded online activities led by our investment taking place
  • 21 – 23 June 2022: with a physical Showcase taking place in the Advanced Research Centre at the University of Glasgow. A Virtual Platform to increase access to sessions and networking will also be available.

What is EPSRC ENZ week?

EPSRC’s Engineering Net Zero (ENZ) week is a hybrid of in person and virtual engagement events. These events will showcase the breadth of engineering and physical sciences research across our portfolio that are driving impact towards the UK’s wider net zero objectives.

Pivotally, these events are a key opportunity to engage in discussion to assist with our future strategy development.

Why is it important?

The UK was one of the first global economies to enshrine in law a mandate for reaching net zero by 2050.

As a result, we now have a clear deadline to successfully transition our most highly emitting sectors to zero or low carbon emitting alternatives. This will shape our future behaviours to reduce our energy demand and implement a truly circular way of living.

The good news is that we are not approaching this from a standing start! Across UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and in particular, through the EPSRC, we have a legacy of funding for research and innovation to address challenges related to our net zero transition.

This spans the entirety of our portfolio including:

  • supporting green chemistry
  • resource efficiency
  • circular economy
  • energy systems modelling.
  • decarbonisation of whole systems.

The EPSRC portfolio also includes funding to develop fundamental technologies leading to innovation in energy generation including:

  • renewable sources such as offshore wind and solar energy
  • world leading research to be globally leading in nuclear fission and fusion technologies.

It says Engineering Net Zero, can I still participate if I am not an Engineer?

Absolutely! Our portfolio of funding that supports research and innovation towards net zero, covers the entirety of the engineering and physical sciences disciplines and beyond.

The challenges we face in achieving net zero transcend multiple disciplinary boundaries.  It will require unique partnerships that bring together multidisciplinary researchers to unlock the innovations we need for the future.

Our focus at EPSRC is facilitating best with best partnerships to ensure the right expertise are delivering the most impactful outcomes together.

A prime example of this are the partnerships we support between academia and industry through our Prosperity Partnerships scheme. These are de-risking innovation and ensuring the technologies required to achieve net zero are being actively deployed.

EPSRC always seeks to work in partnership to attract and develop best with best partnerships. This includes forming partnerships with:

  • the most innovative businesses
  • international research
  • innovation pioneers
  • working closely with within UKRI
  • government.

How can our stakeholders get involved?

We have a number of opportunities open to enable you to participate including:

By signing up to attend you can network with in person and virtual attendees. The virtual platform will be live in advance of the showcase. It will provide access to a whole host of information from the programme, fellow attendees and virtual booths.

Registration is open all the way up to the event.

There are lots of activities planned and the full programme will be available shortly. Our keynote speakers are currently confirmed as:

  • Dr Chris Stark, CEO Committee on Climate Change
  • Professor Jim McDonald, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Principal at the University of Strathclyde
  • Isobel Sheldon, Chief Strategy Officer, BritishVolt.

Many more will be announced shortly. We welcome your attendance and the opportunity to network with you at this exciting showcase.

If you have any queries, please contact: engineeringnetzero@epsrc.ukri.org. We look forward to seeing you there.

Top image:  Credit: alvarez, E+ via Getty Images

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