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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W002841/1
Title: UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Community Network+ (UKCCSRC 2022)
Principal Investigator: Gibbins, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Wetenhall, Dr B Roberts, Dr J Gough, Dr C
Reiner, Dr D Haszeldine, Professor RS Campbell, Dr KLS
Marsh, Professor R Fennell, Dr P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2022 Ends: 30 September 2025 Value (£): 1,810,821
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Carbon Capture & Storage
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 Aug 2021 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 4 and 5 August 2021 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The UK is seeing an unprecedented rise in CCS activity, with deployment planned to go from currently nothing to 10 million tonnes of CO2 captured and stored per year by 2030, followed by two decades with average growth of 10-15% per year to deliver around 100 MtCO2/yr by 2050 to underpin the UK's net-zero target. Networking by the UKCCS Research Centre, as an inclusive and open virtual national hub, has helped to start now-mainstream UK initiatives on industrial decarbonisation (2012) and CCS clusters (2016) and has continued to grow with innovative on-line activities and focused support throughout the COVID epidemic. This proposal will deliver seamless continuity and expansion of these services to a UK CCS community currently with over 600 academic members (including ECRs) and over 1000 wider network links that has to expand and diversify rapidly to deliver the 2030 targets and will also help to develop UK capacity to meet the equally-great challenges of the following decades.

Our overall aim is to maintain a UK scientific lead in CCS, behind only the much larger USA and China, that the existence of an inclusive EPSRC-supported CCS network since 2009 has helped to establish, and to ensure that this lead is translated into wealth creation and commercial advantages for the UK via strong and focused networking with a successful CCS industry sector.

People, principles and planning are the keys to successful networking. The UKCCSRC 2022 delivery team brings a diverse set of talents and backgrounds, a rigorous ethos of inclusivity, openness, scientific excellence, hard work and friendly engagement, and includes solid experience, over many years, of how to plan and deliver a networking programme, with activities and services that are educational, in the broadest sense, and also enjoyable and exciting.

The Network+ programme will help the UK get the most value from its world-leading CCS, and wider, academic community by linking research producers and research users, with four main tasks:

1) To support the rapid growth planned in UK deployment across the full range of CCS activities required for delivering net-zero (i.e. capture from all sources and all forms of secure, long-term storage, and the full range of states of commercial readiness) using the best science available.

2) To develop the new science to underpin future improvements and cost reduction in areas of CCS where the UK has a strategic need or advantage and help translate this into a wealth-creating UK industry sector.

3) To grow the capacity in people, infrastructure and institutions to meet the sustained long-term expansion required in CCS out to 2050 and beyond.

4) To devise and deliver open-access fast-track research projects.

Developments to underpin the achievement of these objectives include:

a) To at least double academic membership from about 300 to 600, including many more specialists in related fields.

b) Industry - because of a much wider range of companies getting engaged with CCS this is expected to rise to at least 100 industry participants.

c) Government and regulation engagement - continue as trusted independent experts, with specialised knowledge transfer to support this key group of stakeholders.

d) Early Career Researchers - grow existing programme of >300 ECRs to double this number, with welcoming and inclusive knowledge exchange and networks in CCS for new arrivals.

e) International links with CCS partner organisations worldwide, facilitate networking and help build collaborative research activities.

f) Build on established network contacts (1600+) to grow regular conference programme from ~150 per meeting to ~300.

g) Higher profile for academic CCS research through media, knowledge sharing and enhanced Web presence as national interest in CCS grows.

h) A £1M budget for flexible funding of fast-track projects, with open calls following well-established procedures, including independent administration and a high standar
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk