Cleantech ‘innovation hub’ to launch in Tyseley
British and German experts will create an ‘Innovation Hub’ based in Birmingham to deliver new approaches to energy and waste management that will benefit cities and communities around the world.
Energy experts from the University of Birmingham and Fraunhofer UMSICHT have renewed their Joint Research Platform set up in 2016 with plans to locate collaborative research in a new centre at the city’s Tyseley Energy Park.
Set to open in 2021, the Hub will link to the creation of a technology transfer centre in China in partnership with Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute (JITRI), in Nanjing, and funded through Research England’s International Investment Initiative (I3) programme.
Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI) and Fraunhofer UMSICHT established the Joint Research Platform to combine academic expertise with industrial capability – addressing the practical challenges around energy and waste to get innovative solutions into action.
BEI Director Professor Martin Freer commented: “With our global community consuming more energy than ever before, the demand for energy is rising, yet this increasing demand is occurring at a time when climate change and the use of fossil fuels is a growing concern.
“In establishing the Innovation Hub, we’re looking to develop collaborative research programmes related to waste processing and recycling, in particular, the development of technologies capable of delivering biofuels.”
The partnership between BEI and Fraunhofer UMSICHT has been cemented through a series of new research programmes and development of a Thermo-Catalytic Reformer plant at Tyseley Energy Park. Thermo-Catalytic Reforming (TCR®) technology has been developed by Professor Andreas Hornung, Chair in Bioenergy at the University of Birmingham and Director of the Institute Branch, Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Fraunhofer UMSICHT.
A five-year bridge connecting the sister cities of Birmingham and Nanjing with energy and raw materials experts in Germany will see researchers develop new technologies such as energy storage solutions – allowing renewable power to be available ‘on tap’ – as well as energy sources and biofuels created from waste.