Public Release: 

Research Council-funded partnerships for 'low carbon cities' in the UK and China

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Researchers from UK and Chinese universities are collaborating on four new projects to work towards achieving low carbon cities in the UK and China. The projects were announced as Chinese President, Xi Jinping visited the UK this week.

The projects will receive over £3 million in funding from the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), with matched equivalent resources from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

Funded under the Low Carbon Cities programme, the projects will encourage collaboration between leading UK and Chinese academics, combining research to reduce the carbon emissions of existing technologies.

The projects will also deliver fundamental research into alternative energy sources and a reduction of energy demand, all with a focus on future urban environments.

By using comparative research to examine social, political and technical challenges, this will help the UK and China to successfully transition towards future low carbon cities. This programme and joint funding process has been facilitated by the RCUK China office.

Professor Philip Nelson FREng, EPSRC's Chief Executive, said: "The aim of this UK-China research collaboration will be to reduce worldwide CO2 production and ensure energy security and affordability. This is the first of three low carbon innovation projects between EPSRC and NSFC. The projects build on the strength of our internationally renowned research and will benefit both the UK and Chinese economies."

Professor Che Chengwei, Deputy Director General, Department of Engineering and Material Sciences, NSFC commented: "NSFC has been working closely with EPSRC for several years to address challenges related to achieving a low-carbon economy. This latest programme, with a focus on future urban environments, will build substantially stronger links between Chinese and UK research communities in relevant areas. It will also brighten the future bilateral collaboration between both countries."

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The four projects funded are:

  • Low Carbon Transitions of Fleet Operations in Metropolitan Sites (Newcastle University, Imperial College London, and Southeast University)

  • City-Wide Analysis to Propel Cities towards Resource Efficiency and Better Wellbeing (University of Southampton and Xi'an University of Architecture & Technology)

  • The 'Total Performance' of Low Carbon Buildings in China and the UK (University College London and Tsinghua University)

  • Low carbon climate-responsive Heating and Cooling of Cities (University of Cambridge, University of Reading and Chongqing University)

Low Carbon Cities forms part of the Low Carbon Innovation programme, a £20 million three-year investment announced in March 2014. Facilitated by Research Councils UK (RCUK) China, this programme builds on five years of successful collaborative research funded jointly by EPSRC and NSFC in energy research. Low Carbon Innovation will also support research to develop new low carbon manufacturing processes and technologies, as well as offshore renewables.

Notes for Editors:

For further information please contact the EPSRC Press Office on Tel: 01793 444 404 or e-mail: pressoffice@epsrc.ac.uk

For a roundup of RCUK joint announcements between UK and China see http://www.rcuk.ac.uk

EPSRC

As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture.

We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils. Our collective ambition is to ensure the UK remains the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow business. The Research Councils are central to delivering research and innovation for economic growth and societal impact. Together, we invest £3 billion in research each year, covering all disciplines and sectors, to meet tomorrow's challenges today. Our investments create new knowledge through: funding research excellence; responding to society's challenges; developing skills, leadership and infrastructure; and leading the UK's research direction. We drive innovation through: creating environments and brokering partnerships; co-delivering research and innovation with over 2,500 businesses, 1,000 of which are SMEs; and providing intelligence for policy making. Find out more about our work at http://www.rcuk.ac.uk.

The seven UK Research Councils are:

RCUK China

RCUK China was the first overseas team set up outside of Europe by the UK Research Councils. Since 2007, the team has built excellent relationships with all the major national funding agencies in China, pioneering the facilitation of UK-China research partnerships across areas of natural, physical and medical sciences, engineering, social science, arts and the humanities. To date, RCUK China has facilitated over £160 million in co-funded programmes supporting 78 UK-China research projects that have involved more than 60 universities and 50 industry partners in both countries. RCUK China currently has six members of staff and is co-located in the British Embassy in Beijing.

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