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Aim of conference
This was an in person conference with the aim to discuss the role that energy innovation is playing in achieving Net-Zero and to discuss the Energy Research Accelerator’s plans for the future. Throughout the day we will be focusing on our key themes including:

• Energy Generation and Systems
• Transport and Mobility
• Sustainability and People
• Decarbonising Industry
• Data and AI
• Skills for the Net-Zero transition

09.00: Arrival and refreshments

09.30: Welcome and Introduction: Prof Chris Fogwill, Cranfield University

09.50: A race against time, the role and challenges of energy research and innovation in achieving Net-Zero: Keynote speaker: Rachel Fletcher, Director of Regulation, Octopus Energy

10.20: ERA’s national activities: Prof Martin Freer, Director of the Energy Research Accelerator

10.40: Panel discussion on National Energy Innovation Challenges with senior representatives from industry and academia, including:

  • Michelle Bentham Chief Scientist for Decarbonisation and Resource Management, British Geological Survey (BGS)
  • David Wright, Director of Electricity Transmission, National Grid
  • Tom Greatrex, CEO, Nuclear Industries Association
  • Dennis Hayter, MD, Intelligent Energy

11.30: Refreshments and Networking

11.50: Regional Energy Developments and Opportunities:

Faye McAnulla, Programme Director ERA

12.05: Panel discussion on Midlands energy opportunities with senior leaders from the public and private sector:

  • Ian Cuddington, Director of Economic Development, Rolls-Royce
  • Kelly Manders, Regional Development Manager, Cadent
  • David Horsfall, Director, Tyseley Energy Park
  • Katie Greenhalgh, Green Growth Lead, East Midlands Freeport

13.00: Lunch and Networking

Lunch break to include Early Career Researcher Posters and presentations in Foyer

Optional tours of Cranfield energy facilities:

The HyPER demonstrator – HyPER can produce hundreds of kg of hydrogen each day. It is a megawatt scale pilot facility that utilises sorbent enhanced reforming to generate clean hydrogen. The pilot sized demonstrator can be of use to any business developing anything from hydrogen/Co2 leak detection, gas analysis, pipe fittings/gaskets non-destructive testing and evaluation of metals and pipes, gas compressors and purification systems etc.

The Turquoise Hydrogen demonstrator – The Turquoise Hydrogen demonstrator consists of a central upright fixed fluidised bed reactor which generates hydrogen from methane, with built in mechanisms for heating and heat recovery. In the reactor, methane molecules are split into their constituents, H2 and carbon. This pilot reactor has an in-built system to separate gaseous H2 and remove the solid carbon

Optional – Test drive Tesla car

14.10: Breakout groups, exploring collaborative ideas in several ERA research themes:

  • Energy and the Built Environment – Dominika Walker, (Tomato Energy)
  • Transport and Mobility – Faye McAnulla and Martin Freer (ERA/University of Birmingham)
  • Decarbonising Industry – Vasilije Manovic and Phil Longhurst (Cranfield University)
  • Data and AI – Rob Shipman (University of Nottingham)
  • Skills – Lennie Foster (ERA), Keith Wishart (IBM), Swathi (C-DICE post doc), Nazmiye Ozkan (Cranfield)
  • Hydrogen Storage – Kat Mycock (HyDEX) and Gordon Arnott (University of Nottingham)

Each group to focus on one of ERA’s themes and developing one or two ‘Big Ideas’ for industry and universities to work together on.

15.10: Groups to feedback to the conference on their ideas

15.30: Summary of day and next steps:

Prof Martin Freer

15.50: Close

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