By Paul Ray
Durham University has announced a collaborative project with Teesside University, which aims to use hydrogen innovation to aid in the decarbonisation of the Tees Valley region.
The development project, which is worth £11 million and will last four years, is led by Teesside University with the Durham University’s Energy Institute (DEI) providing research expertise.
The project aims to combine the research strengths of both universities to work together with industrial partners to identify challenges facing the region and how to overcome them, both with industrial issues and policy barriers this technology faces.
It will also include outreach and engagement programmes to local primary and secondary schools to promote opportunities within the hydrogen sector.
Tees Valley currently produces 50% of the UK’s hydrogen, with professional services company KPMG suggesting that the industry could add up to £7 billion to the Tees Valley economy and create up to a 1000 jobs by 2050 if the technology is harnessed correctly.
The project received £4.8 million in funding from the Research England Development fund, part of UK Research and Innovation. The rest was funded by the universities themselves, and Industrial partners.
The DEI, led by Professor Tony Roskilly as Chair of Energy Systems and Lead Investigator, is a hub for multidisciplinary energy research. The hub is already on the forefront of national and international research efforts into hydrogen, including research into the use of hydrogen in transportation and providing expertise to the Teeside Industrial Cluster.
Professor Roskilly said, “We are very excited to be working closely with industry and the Tees Valley community to see them benefit from environmental, economic, and social opportunities that a hydrogen economy could deliver.
“This project builds on our existing industrial decarbonisation collaboration with colleagues in Teesside and provides the opportunity to directly stimulate innovation through a cohort of industrial and social research fellows.”
Colin Bain, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for (research) at Durham University, echoed the excitement saying “Durham Energy Institute has an active portfolio of technical and social science research which brings together hydrogen expertise from across the University to drive innovation through the supply chain and tackle social, market and regulatory barriers.
“This project is another good example of the universities of the North-East working together to tackle regional and national challenges and to drive social and economic renewal in the North-East of England.”
Image: Teesside University