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North East Energy Catalyst ready to deliver on global challenges

A new partnership has been established to unite the North East’s leading energy innovation, demonstration and delivery capabilities, in order to drive new opportunities and growth for the region.

The North East is home to an array of internationally-recognised energy innovation, demonstration and science assets, and a wide range of ‘real-world’ follow-on delivery opportunities. These are owned by the public sector, universities, government bodies, and businesses already developing and delivering important products and services within the energy sector.

These partners have now joined forces to form the North East Energy Catalyst, with a mission of catalysing an integrated energy system which grows a productive, clean economy for prosperous communities. The initiative aims to co-ordinate North East energy innovation, demonstration and delivery capabilities, both onshore and offshore, to develop and showcase solutions to global energy challenges.

Putting the region at the forefront of energy innovation

Energy Catalyst partners will work together on projects which tackle these major energy challenges, delivering on national energy, industrial, and clean growth strategy, whilst also supporting efforts to drive decarbonisation and economic growth in the region.

The Catalyst will invite and co-ordinate engagement with industry and business, promoting opportunities available in the North East to diversify, commercialise new solutions, and to deliver regional growth and employment across the energy sector.

Newcastle University lead, Professor Phil Taylor, Head of the School of Engineering and Director of the National Centre for Energy Systems Integration, said:

“I am delighted that Newcastle University is part of this great regional initiative.

"There is a huge amount of talent, infrastructure and expertise in the academic, governmental and industrial sectors in the North East and the Catalyst will enable us to come together to ensure that the region is at the forefront of our pursuit of a net zero energy system.”

Partnership across the region

The partnership includes Newcastle University; Durham University; Northumbria University; Zero Carbon Futures (a subsidiary of Gateshead College); Northern Powergrid; Northern Gas Networks; the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (which has test facilities at Blyth); the British Engines Group; the Innovation SuperNetwork; Northumbrian Water; the North of Tyne Combined Authority; and the North East Combined Authority. It is facilitated by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Andrew Clark, North East LEP Energy Programme Lead, said:

“We are delighted to be a founding partner of the North East Energy Catalyst, an initiative which builds on our region’s position at the heart of the UK’s energy industry.

“The region has a unique and comprehensive asset base for innovating, demonstrating and delivering solutions to global energy challenges working both onshore and offshore.

“We also host a highly innovative business base at the cutting edge of developing and commercialising these solutions, presenting significant growth potential and new economic opportunities for places across our region.

“The North East Energy Catalyst brings these assets together in this exciting new partnership to showcase our critical role in this global agenda.”

The initiative follows the identification of energy innovation and demonstration as a key theme within North East LEP’s new Energy for Growth strategy, which aims to drive economic growth in the North East while also bringing sector partners together to deliver on national energy strategy.

Energy was identified as an area of key importance in the North East Strategic Economic Plan, with the potential to bring investment and jobs to our region.

published on: 9 October 2019