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ZCF acquisition

Newcastle University acquires Zero Carbon Futures

Published on: 13 November 2020

The acquisition will complement the university’s research strength in electric vehicles and transport.

Newcastle University has acquired Zero Carbon Futures UK (ZCF), a North East based company that provides insight into low carbon vehicles and associated technologies enabling the development of strategies to reduce carbon emissions from transport.

Through its research specialisms in transport, electric vehicles and sustainability Newcastle University will provide a larger platform for ZCF to develop whilst ZCF will bring a wealth of experience project managing multi-million pound projects, skills delivery, and EV strategy for cities such as London, Manchester and Milton Keynes.

ZCF was originally formed in 2011 by the electromobility team from One North East, and acquired by Gateshead College following the closure of the Regional Development Agency. After nine successful years working with major car companies, local authorities, industries bodies and academia, both institutions identified greater possibilities for ZCF through a move to Newcastle University.

Mike Capaldi, Dean of Business and Innovation at Newcastle University said:

“We are delighted to welcome ZCF and their highly skilled team to become part of Newcastle University.  Their team are already working closely with our University including with our School of Engineering. Their skills and experience are highly complementary to the University’s current capabilities bringing strong existing networks and relationships with organisations such as TfL, DfT, BEIS, vehicle manufacturers, power companies, APC, and the Faraday Institution. We think this partnership will be a key driver for continued success in our work on Future Mobility.”

ZCF is led by Colin Herron who is also a visiting professor at Newcastle University, who added

“This is an exciting new chapter for ZCF. After nine successful years it became clear that our strategic direction was changing and that Newcastle University would provide a larger platform for the company to develop. We bring business and local authority experience and expertise, whilst the University will increase our scope and provide access to a wealth of research. Our ultimate aim is to research and develop new and emerging technologies as low carbon vehicles move into the mainstream and become a major part of our transport system of the future.”

As it becomes a wholly owned subsidiary company of Newcastle University, all ZCF staff also transfer to University, with ZCF day to day management remaining with Managing Director Dr Colin Herron. Newcastle University is the National Lead for Driving the Electric Revolution (DER) Industrialisation Centre and will work with ZCF regard to skills and lifelong learning.


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