Essential role

The Energy theme promotes multidisciplinary partnerships between researchers, industry, funders and government departments and has a current portfolio in excess of £0.5 billion.

EPSRC's essential and unique role is to provide the Energy theme's bedrock: physics, chemistry, materials science and mathematics all contribute to fundamental energy research, while information and communications technology, nanotechnology and engineering enable progress towards development and demonstration of technologies. We are also driving multidisciplinary through sponsorship of collaborative research with the environmental, biological, economic and social sciences.

Success in realising the potential of the Energy theme's investment and the drive to meet the UK's 2050 climate targets is critically dependent on the long-term capacity of core research in the engineering and physical sciences as well as the support of Grand Challenge-led research in targeted areas.

Plans and partnerships

We will build on the expertise developed through previous investment, maximising international opportunities derived from working with global peers and ensuring optimum return against our investment while generating a whole systems understanding of the energy landscape for the UK.

Working with stakeholders such as the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), Carbon Trust and industry, we will help accelerate the deployment of the research we sponsor, identifying and generating new challenges, and developing mechanisms across the research base to address them.

We will seek to establish joint Industrial Doctoral Centres with the ETI, helping to shape capability within the Energy Theme. To accelerate deployment we will work with the ETI on the current and future joint R&D initiatives with TSB, initially in the area of marine energy, and so gain maximum value from our investment.

We will continue to lead the SUPERGEN (sustainable power generation) programme, which involves multi-partner academic/business consortia aimed at helping the UK meet its CO2 emissions targets through a radical improvement in the country's sustainable power generation and supply. The next phase of this initiative is to transfer the programme to a new hub model, driven by Grand Challenges, to achieve maximum efficiency and impact and ensure we have optimum resources in areas of strategic importance.