We are looking for a centre to support the UK’s transition to sustainable and equitable low-carbon living. The centre will bring together the right people, disciplines, institutions and infrastructure to provide the evidence needed for this challenge within a 5-year timeframe.
Population and economic growth over the past century have been unprecedented. The world’s population is expected to increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years, putting even more pressure on land use, water supply and the demand for currently carbon-intensive services such as energy, transport and housing.
Delivering net zero and adapting to wider environmental change and biodiversity challenges will require major changes in the actions of people, firms, and governments.
The aim of this centre is to enable UK decision makers to identify the most cost-effective and socially feasible options for supporting the public, government, and businesses in transitioning to low-carbon living and adapting to wider environmental change and biodiversity challenges.
Actions to mitigate and adapt to the challenge of climate change will require significant, and often rapid, transformations of lifestyles, business practices, and governance. This includes adopting new low-carbon technologies and using natural resources and services more efficiently.
The centre will work with, and be responsive to, the needs of UK decision makers, with a specific focus on supporting government departments in addressing their evidence needs.
The centre will inform policies and incentive structures that influence the actions of individuals, communities, organisations, and local and national governments. This will enable them to bring about a lasting shift to more sustainable and equitable low carbon living alongside adapting to the impacts of climate change.
A collaborative approach to creating solutions in partnership with a range of stakeholders and across research disciplines that span UKRI’s remit is strongly encouraged.
We expect to fund a single centre through this funding opportunity. You will be expected to demonstrate that your centre will deliver:
- research: high-quality, interdisciplinary, internationally recognised research findings to address unanswered questions about a defined challenge to our society, economy or both. In this case, the centre will need to clearly articulate the challenge that transitioning to sustainable and equitable low-carbon living presents, and how the proposed programme of research will address this
- impact: significant economic and societal impact, demonstrating that the centre is responding to their specified challenge. Impact should be a major consideration throughout the scoping of a proposal, and during and beyond the lifetime of a centre. Research users relevant to the low-carbon living challenge, such as policymakers, businesses and civil society, should be engaged from the initial planning phases through to the end of an award
- capability: the resources needed to become a centre of excellence that adds value to the wider community. This will include developing the people, producing the data and creating the infrastructure needed to respond to their specified challenge, as well as making use of existing datasets and infrastructure
You should consider the structure of your proposed centre to ensure it can successfully deliver its objectives, whether through a consortium approach or single institution. Partnerships with non-higher education institution organisations across government, industry and civil society are also encouraged where appropriate.
The successful centre will be required to partner, collaborate and engage with a wide range of stakeholders to agree priorities and deliver key activities. It should build upon, collaborate and integrate with other investments funded via UKRI’s Building a Green Future Programme (see ‘additional information’).
Applicants can propose a title for this centre, and the successful applicant will need to seek approval for the title from the UKRI Building a Green Future Programme Board.
Further details will be made available when the full opportunity is posted in February 2023.
This is a pre-announcement and information may change.