26th January, 2010
Aston University is involved in a €750m (£660m) European programme, which is set to develop jobs, businesses and markets within the low carbon sector.
Aston is part of a successful consortium bid that brings together the skills and expertise of leading universities, global companies and researchers, to transform the West Midlands and five other European regions into Climate Knowledge and Innovation Communities. (Climate-KIC).These areas will become ‘innovation hotspots’ that will test, develop and facilitate green industries and encourage new climate change markets.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) scheme will see investment across four major research and innovation programme areas; climate science; low carbon cities; zero-carbon production systems and integrated water management. These programmes will offer advanced training, create new companies and spin outs and help develop markets for existing low carbon industries across Europe.
Aston University itself is at the forefront of research into renewable and green technologies including the development of algae, biogas and sewage sludge as alternative fuel sources for heat and power. Aston is also analysing and assessing the performance of electric, hydrogen and hybrid vehicles as part of a Government trial that brings 110 alternative energy cars on the streets of Birmingham and Coventry this year.
West Midlands Minister, Ian Austin, said; “This is really welcome news for the West Midlands. This announcement offers the region a unique opportunity to create low carbon jobs that will help us build our way out of the current recession.”
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission added; “The selection of the first Knowledge and Innovation Communities is a further milestone towards a more innovative Europe. They will become innovation hotspots that attract the brightest talents from Europe and beyond.”
The West Midlands Climate-KIC programme will be led by Advantage West Midlands and will involve Aston, Birmingham and Warwick Universities, Birmingham and Coventry Councils, the Midlands Energy Consortium, Qinetiq, Arup, Nisp and others.
European wide consortium members, include Imperial College London and ETH Zurich universities and ten major companies including CISCO, Shell, Thales and Bayer.
For further information contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications, on 0121 204 4549.