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Birmingham ‘innovation hub’ targets clean energy globally, with link to China

By David Schwartz
Published: December 2nd, 2019

British and German experts from both industry and academia are creating a new ‘Innovation Hub’ based in Birmingham, UK, to develop new technologies focused on clean energy and waste management. They researchers are linking their efforts with a Chinese research institute in hopes of expanding the impact of their efforts across the globe.

The University of Birmingham and Fraunhofer UMSICHT have renewed their joint research agreement set up in 2016, adding plans to locate a new collaborative research centre at the city’s Tyseley Energy Park. Set to open in 2021, the hub will also link to the creation of a technology transfer centre in China in partnership with Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute (JITRI) in Nanjing.

Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI) and Fraunhofer UMSICHT established the joint research program to marry their academic expertise with industrial capabilities in order to address the practical challenges around energy and waste. “With our global community consuming more energy than ever before, the demand for energy is rising, yet this increasing demand is occurring at a time when climate change and the use of fossil fuels is a growing concern,” said BEI Director Professor Martin Freer. Primary focus of their research is waste processing, recycling, and biofuels.

“We will work with JITRI and Fraunhofer in helping to drive innovation and manufacturing progress, not just in China but around the world, as well as deepening still further the bonds between our sister cities of Birmingham and Nanjing,” Freer added.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Hornung, Director of Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Institute Branch Sulzbach-Rosenberg, commented: “Fraunhofer UMSICHT stands for the provision of high quality energy carriers and raw materials from waste. In extending our research cooperation with the University of Birmingham we hope to contribute our expertise in process engineering, especially in thermochemical conversion processes.

“We aim to to implement our solutions for the energy and raw material transition all around the world. With this renewed international research partnership and its emerging links to China, we strongly believe to come a good step closer to this goal,” noted Prof. Dr. Andreas Hornung, director of Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Institute Branch Sulzbach-Rosenberg.

The three organizations recently announced their five-year partnership in China to find global solutions for delivering recycling solutions, developing clean energy technologies, and reducing the environmental impact of waste.

Source: University of Birmingham News

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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