Energy Research Accelerator appoints Chair of Industrial Advisory Board

The Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) has appointed Philip Sharman as the Chair of its Industrial Advisory Board

Published On: March 26, 2019
Philip Sharman

The Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) has appointed Philip Sharman as the Chair of its new Industrial Advisory Board

Philip Sharman supersmall

The Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) is a £180m programme comprising £60m from Innovate UK, and an additional £120m matched by industry and universities. A partnership of eight universities and the British Geological Survey, ERA is investing in facilities, equipment and demonstration projects to find innovative solutions to the most pressing energy challenges.

Philip Sharman’s current role is as Managing Director of Evenlode Associates Ltd where he has been involved in a broad range of low-carbon energy technology activities for a wide range of major private and public sector organisations. He is also Director of the International Flame Research Foundation (IFRF). Prior to this, Philip worked as Director of Technology External Affairs for Alstom Power, where his focus was to develop strong links with governments, research organisations and technology providers worldwide.

Speaking about his appointment, Philip said: “I am delighted to have been invited to chair ERA’s Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) and look forward to working closely with colleagues at ERA to establish the IAB over the coming months. The IAB will offer advice on strategy, potential opportunities and sources of funding, and help ERA achieve its objectives of making a lasting impact in the low-carbon energy area.

“ERA is an important initiative with the potential to assist significantly the UK meeting its carbon emission reduction targets and its ‘clean growth’ objectives under the Industrial Strategy. We need to maintain a secure supply of energy that is ever more flexible and resilient in nature; we need energy to be affordable and be available equitably. This ‘energy trilemma’ remains central to ERA’s purpose, and ERA’s contribution through research and innovation to balancing this trilemma cannot be overstated. I am excited to be part of it!”

Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Energy Research Accelerator, added: “I am very pleased that Philip has agreed to become Chair of the new Industrial Advisory Board. He has great experience and numerous contacts in the energy sector. The IAB will have a vital role to play in ensuring that ERA’s researchers are fully aware of the changing needs of industry and the issues facing them. This will ensure that ERA’s research continues to be highly relevant, leading to new innovations with significant real-world applications.”

ERA is one of the initiatives managed by Midlands Innovation. Midlands Innovation is a partnership of the research intensive Midlands universities of Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. It unites the combined strength of university research in the Midlands with regional industry, in order to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development.

Commenting on Philip Sharman’s appointment, Helen Turner, Director of Midlands Innovation, added: “This is the start of an exciting new chapter for ERA. We have been investing in the development of new, world-class facilities over the last few years. These are facilities which industrial partners can use in conjunction with our energy researchers, in order to develop low-carbon technologies. With the appointment of Philip and the establishment of the Industrial Advisory Board, I am sure that we will also see new academic and industrial collaborations emerge which will deliver great benefits to the UK and far beyond.”

For more information about the Energy Research Accelerator, visit


For more information about this press release, please contact Nick King, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Energy Research Accelerator, on, or tel: 07964 391057

About Midlands Innovation
Midlands Innovation is a world-class research and innovation partnership, combining the collective excellence of eight leading universities in the heart of the UK – Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. It unites the power of university research with the unique strengths of Midlands industry to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development.

The Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)
ERA is a key programme within Midlands Innovation which consists of the partner universities and also the British Geological Survey (BGS). ERA aims to harness the Midlands’ combined research excellence and industry expertise to play a critical role in tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the UK. Via Innovate UK, the government has committed an initial capital investment of £60m, and ERA has secured additional co-investment of £120m. ERA’s initial priorities of Geo-Energy Systems, Integrated Energy Systems and Thermal Energy will help deliver the new technologies and behaviours that will open the avenues for its future development and demonstrate the transformative effect ERA can have across the energy spectrum.