The Department of Transport has announced that a new research hub is being launched to boost innovative measures to decarbonise and improve transport, as the country works towards its net zero goals. 

Decarbonisation Minister Jesse Norman announced that applications are open today (2 February 2023) for organisations to host the new hub, with the government pledging £10 million in funding for the centre, which will establish a UK centre of excellence for transport innovation, stated the release.  

Transport currently accounts for 27% of the UK’s emissions and the new Hub aims to create solutions to tackle this. This will include greater use of recycled materials and reducing the carbon footprint of repairs and maintenance. 

The release stated that the hub will also develop and implement innovative ideas to ensure transport meets the challenges of climate adaptation. This includes changes to weather and water levels. 

It will work on the UK’s transport sector’s need to meet its 2050 net zero goals. 

Decarbonisation Minister Jesse Norman said: “Innovation is key to the growth of the transport sector, and the creation of high-skilled jobs and business opportunities across the UK. This new UK research hub will build a centre of excellence for the future development of low-carbon transport.” 

The hub aims to provide a link for early-stage innovation and later stage demonstration across multiple transport modes to create, develop and test climate-resilient solutions that recognise how different places and types of transport will require different answers, says the release.  

Additionally, it hopes to create high-skilled jobs across the UK. The centre will look to offer responsive, practical, evidence-based support to transport decision-makers and develop and implement sustainable, low-carbon solutions across existing and new infrastructure. 

UK Research and Innovation Building a Green Future lead, Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, said: “A partnership between the Department for Transport and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Net Zero Transport Infrastructure for a Resilient Future Research Hub will lead the cross-UK research that is needed to effect transformational change in the transport sector. It will lead future developments to decarbonise our transport sector, a crucial component of achieving the UK’s net zero 2050 target. It will also help to ensure our transport systems remain resilient to hazards caused by extreme weather events and climactic changes that are already apparent.” 

The hub will be funded through UKRI’s Building a Green Future strategic theme to accelerate the UK’s transition to a secure and prosperous green economy by 2050. 

Press release: Department of Transport