East Midlands Conference Centre, Monday 26th November 2018

Find out what happened at ERA Vision 18


The purpose of ERA Vision - The Midlands Energy Conference, is to provide a network for businesses, researchers and policy makers to come together to explore new ideas and innovations, and to form new partnerships for the future. 

Find out what happened at ERA Vision 18

Conference aims

The purpose of ERA Vision 2018 is to provide an environment where people with a passion for energy can share and discuss ideas together.

The objectives for the event are:

  • To highlight the challenges facing the energy sector and explore solutions
  • To allow partners the opportunity to showcase energy collaborations and their results
  • To create an environment where new networks can be developed
  • To discuss the ERA's work and our large scale capital projects
  • To give students the opportunity to present their research projects to the wider community

The full conference programme can be found at the bottom of this page.

Find out what you missed at ERA Vision 18

Our speakers

Click here for details of all of the speakers at ERA Vision 18

Keynote speakers

Robert Llewellyn: The green transport revolution

Robert Llewellyn is an English actor, playwright, comedian and writer. He is best known for his portrayal of the mechanoid Kryten in the cult BBC 2 comedy, Red Dwarf; and for his role as presenter on Channel 4’s Scrapheap Challenge. He also hosted the long running online series Carpool from his electric car.

Robert is a frequent speaker at science and technology events, actively promoting electric cars and renewable technologies. His website and YouTube channel, Fully Charged, is a platform for discussion around the issues relating to the future of energy. 

At ERA Vision 2018, Robert will be providing a fascinating insight into the future of road transport as a result of new technological developments.

Steve Holliday - incoming President of the Energy Institute, former CEO National Grid: Energy challenges and opportunities

Steve Holliday is the incoming President of the Energy Institute and former Chief Executive of National Grid plc. He is Chairman of Senvion, Deputy Chairman of Convatec and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Crisis, the homeless charity. Currently Vice President of the Energy Institute, from 2019 Steve will become the next President. In addition, he volunteers his time as Vice Chairman of the Careers and Enterprise Company and Vice Chairman of Business in the Community. Steve is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Energy Institute.


Rob Saunders - Challenge Director: Prospering from the Energy Revolution

Rob Saunders leads the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programme, ‘Prospering from the Energy Revolution’. The government has pledged to invest up to £102.5 million in industry and researchers to develop smart systems that can support the global move to renewable energy. Over the coming four years, this aims to prove the future business models and local approaches that will put energy users and consumers at the heart of a cleaner, cheaper and more resilient energy system. Prior to this role, Rob led the energy programme at Innovate UK for four years, during which Innovate UK supported hundreds of  UK businesses, developed and launched the energy catalyst programme and set up two energy catapult centres; Offshore Renewable Energy in Glasgow & Blyth, and Energy Systems in Birmingham.  

Click here for details of all speakers at ERA Vision 18

For the full programme for the conference, see below...

Who is it for?

The conference is aimed at businesses, researchers, policy makers, local government, advisers and others with an interest in the work being undertaken in energy. The event will provide a mixture of TED style talks and is free to attend, but places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.


ERA Vision will be held at the De Vere East Midlands Conference Centre at the University of Nottingham on Monday 26th November 2018. Set in 330 acres of the University of Nottingham’s landscaped parkland, just two miles from Nottingham and close to the M1 motorway, De Vere East Midlands Conference Centre is an easily accessible conference venue. If travelling by car, the address for Sat Nav is Beeston Lane, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RJ

 Robert Llewellyn small1

Robert Llewellyn, host of 'Fully Charged' is one of our keynote speakers. 

 Steve Holliday1

Steve Holliday, former CEO of National Grid and incoming President of the Energy Institute will be speaking at ERA Vision

Rob Saunders1024

Rob Saunders, from Innovate UK, is Director for the Prospering from the Energy Revolution, Industrial Strategy Challenges Fund

ERA Vision - The Midlands Energy Conference

Programme for ERA Vision - The Midlands Energy Conference
Times Activity
9.00 Arrival and coffee
10.00 Welcome address: Dr Emma Kelly, Chief Operating Officer, Energy Research Accelerator
10.10 Future energy challenges and opportunities - Steve Holliday, incoming President, Energy Institute
10.40  Prospering from the Energy Revolution - Rob Saunders, Head of Energy, Innovate UK
11.00 The Smart Cities approach to community energy
  Emma Bridge, Chief Executive, Community Energy England; Professor Mark Gillott, University of Nottingham; Nick Ebbs, Managing Director, Blueprint; Charles Bradshaw-Smith, CEO, SmartKlub
11.45 Refreshment break
12.00 Energy Capital: How market opportunities, smart energy opportunities and public ambition come together
  Professor Martin Freer, Director of Birmingham Energy Institute, University of Birmingham; David Horsfall, Managing Director, Tyseley Energy Park; Councillor Lisa Trickett, Birmingham City Council; Tim Miller, Deputy Director European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI), Aston University
12.45 Lunch
13.30 Energy Futures: Selected presentations from 6 ERA PhD students in the PechaKucha style
14.20 Seminar sessions (choose one from the following)
  Seminar 1: Academic and industrial partnerships
Professor Colin Snape, University of Nottingham and CPL - converting waste to energy
Professor Emma Kendrick, WMG University of Warwick and JLR - battery innovation
Dr Ceri Vincent, British Geological Survey - carbon capture and storage solutions

Seminar 2: New energy technologies
Dr Hannah Edmonds, the Manufacturing Technology Centre - 'Factory in a Box'
Professor Phil Eames, Loughborough University - renewable energy systems
Professor Karl Ryder, University of Leicester - materials for energy

Seminar session 3: Telling your story & pitching for investment (for CleanTech entrepreneurs)
Guy Pattison, founder of Clean + Cool
Jon Card, business journalist
(NB - Seminar 3 runs through until 16.45)
15.15 Refreshment break 
15.30 Energy storage alternatives – beyond batteries!
  Professor Seamus Garvey, University of Nottingham; Professor Mike Stephenson, British Geological Survey (BGS); Professor Gavin Walker, University of Nottingham; Professor Robert Steinberger-Wilckens, University of Birmingham
16.15 The green transport revolution: Guest speaker Robert Llewellyn, host of Fully Charged
16.40  Q&A session with Robert Llewellyn and panel
17.10 Conference finishes closing remarks by Emma Kelly, Chief Operating Officer ERA, followed by drinks reception

Book your place today at ERA Vision