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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R035199/1
Title: Centre for Sustainable Road Freight 2018-2023
Principal Investigator: Cebon, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Lasenby, Dr J Sutcliffe, Professor M Cole, Dr DJ
Babinsky, Professor H Boies, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Cambridgeshire County Council Chevron Products UK Ltd Denby Transport Ltd
Freight Transport Association Ltd John Lewis Partnership Optrak Distribution Software Ltd
SDC Trailers Ltd Tesco Tridec BV
Turners (Soham) Ltd Value Chain Lab Ltd Volvo
Warburtons Limited
Department: Engineering
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 June 2018 Ends: 31 May 2023 Value (£): 3,715,911
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency Transport Ops & Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
EP/R035148/1 EP/R035202/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
19 Feb 2018 Programme Grant Interviews - 19 and 20 February 2018 (Energy & Engineering) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This programme brings together teams from Herriot Watt University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Westminster and Durham University: providing a multidisciplinary focus on the research needed to enable and underpin radical measures to decarbonise the UK's road freight transport sector. The researchers are augmented by a consortium of 22 industrial partners, drawn from users, suppliers and participants in the road logistics sector. These industrial members provide advice and guidance as well as a rapid route to prototyping and implementation of solutions.

The first 5-year programme, conducted by the same team, laid the foundations and showed that radical measures are necessary to hit the UK Government's CO2 reduction targets. It also showed that integration between logistics solutions, vehicle technology, and policy measures is essential. This experience has shaped the design of the proposed programme.

The new research programme will run for 5 years and has three themes: (i) data collection and management, (ii) logistics systems, and (iii) vehicle technology. A portfolio of 23 projects spans the themes.

The first strand of projects (funded mainly by EPSRC), will focus on reducing barriers to promising strategic, deep decarbonisation technologies and solutions. These projects will create and integrate new data, new modelling tools and decision support systems, to create new insights about technological and logistical solutions, compelling arguments for their early adoption and recommendations for the necessary policy measures. Driven by a desire to model and then quantify the benefits of radical logistics options, the models will be developed and validated with data from real freight operations by the industrial partners, collected by novel automated means. Alternative vehicle fuels and power trains and ways of significantly reducing energy consumption will be investigated.

The second strand of projects (funded mainly by EPSRC and industry) will focus on extending and optimising the capabilities of promising technologies and on increasing their impact when applied to decarbonisation of road freight. Applied research into the dynamics of logistics mode decisions and testing of novel logistics options such as horizontal collaboration, co-loading and reorganisation of logistics infrastructure, will be enabled by tools developed in the first strand. Technologies developed in the first 5 years of the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (SRF) will be tested in two separate full-scale field trials with consortium partners, funded by InnovateUK. Road-mapping will provide a mechanism for corporates, government departments and researchers to build a common view of the future.

The projects in the third strand (funded by Energy Technologies Institute) will focus on implementation of tools and practices that offer immediate impact. These include novel and powerful software systems for industry to use in data collection and for vehicle characterisation and fleet decarbonisation. Research into the drivers of strategy and policy will, likewise identify the most powerful ways to influence adoption of technologies and logistics solutions.

The Road Freight Systems Living Laboratory ('Living Lab') is the central integrating element of the SRF's five-year research programme. Almost every project in the Centre will be part of it. The Living Lab will provide a test bed to measure and model freight operations; to develop technical and logistical interventions based on real-time logistics data; to test the interventions in simulation; to develop decision support tools (several based on work done in the first 5 years of the SRF) and eventually to implement and trial the tools and systems in practice. The Living Lab will be based on an integrated software and data platform that is currently being built by the research team and industry partners.

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.cam.ac.uk