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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R010501/1
Title: Supergen Leaders - Energy Networks
Principal Investigator: Taylor, Professor PC
Other Investigators:
Walker, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: Newcastle University
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 03 July 2017 Ends: 31 May 2018 Value (£): 146,944
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Sustainable Energy Networks
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
24 May 2017 Supergen Leaders 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Energy networks are vitally important enablers for the UK energy sector and therefore UK industry and society. The energy trilemma presents many complex interconnected challenges which reach beyond the UK and have huge relevance internationally. These challenges vary considerably from region to region. Cultural differences also significantly affect what could be deemed as appropriate energy networks provision.

Current energy networks research does not fully embrace a whole systems approach and is therefore not developing a deep enough understanding of the interconnected and interdependent nature of energy network infrastructure. Although energy networks research is a rich and diverse area full of exciting research questions it is not attracting enough new researchers to work in this space.

Existing research into the future capabilities needed for our energy networks tend to focus on the physical hardware and, to a lesser extent, software and the digital/ICT elements which enable our energy networks to become "smart". However, my understanding of energy networks is broad and incorporates many elements such as; People, Communities and Organisations, Digital/ICT, Physical hardware, Software and Control Systems, Policy and Markets

My vision would be to help create a vibrant, well connected, diverse, open, communicative energy networks community that has a deeper understanding of whole systems approaches to energy networks. I would strive to make this community open to new entrants, be representative in terms of equality and diversity, have well developed succession plans to ensure longevity and involve both established and emerging areas of research excellence. I would seek to strike the right balance between being inclusive but also focussed on the relevant questions, whilst being complementary and integrative with respect to other investments nationally and internationally in the energy networks space. I see the role of leading the energy networks hub as one of connecting, convening, facilitating, steering and communicating in order to help all stakeholders reach their potential and exploit all their chosen opportunities. In that sense I would see myself as stepping back from competing for further funding in this area to avoid conflicts of interest.

I have taken the bold approach to clearly identify a team of research staff who are highly capable of supporting me during the 6-month engagement period. I wish the 6-month programme of work to be delivered in an inclusive and transparent way.

The engagement which I and the project team plan to undertake is done with the motives of:

- Deeper involvement by stakeholders

- Broadening the base of responsibility for outcomes

- Enabling community involvement, to create higher levels of trust

In this instance, the community is the range of academic, business, policy maker, international, third sector parties and the public, which I plan to engage with. I have therefore, in considering appropriate engagement methods, considered the intentions or motives of the participants and tried to ensure that these motives are addressed. Concurrently, I wish to utilise a method which co-creates the work programme for the Supergen Hub in a collective and inclusive manner.

I envisage my role to be one of enabler and leader of the Hub. I am ready to develop the skills of the management team at an early stage of the Hub so that there is career development and succession planning, to enable me to step back and take a more strategic role within the energy community. I expect the management team of consortium partners to include ECRs, and underrepresented groups including females and BME. I expect the management team to include leadership and management skills, and experience of EPSRC, EU and international research project management.

The management team shall be jointly responsible for the development and delivery of E&D targets, and development of appropriate E&D policy.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.ncl.ac.uk