The Government and key stakeholders are investing £12 million in a research centre to support energy efficiency in the food sector.
The Centre for Sustainable Energy use in Food Chains will be led by Brunel University, partnered by the Universities of Manchester and Birmingham.
The Centre will be one of five new End Use Energy Demand (EUED) research centres that will look into the complexities of energy use across society and how energy can be both saved and used more efficiently. The five centres are to receive a combined total of more than £26 million in funding from two research councils, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and a further £13 million from industrial partners.
The Centre for Sustainable Energy Use in Food Chains will be led by Professor Savvas Tassou, Head of Brunel University School of Engineering and Design. Professor Tassou said: “The new interdisciplinary centre will bring together internationally leading researchers from the Universities of Brunel, Manchester and Birmingham to address important challenges of energy reduction and resource efficiency at all stages of the food chain from farm gate to plate.
“We will work very closely with key stakeholders to ensure that the research not only addresses the needs of the food industry and Government targets for reduction in energy use and carbon emissions, but also addresses consumer needs and well being.”
The Centre will develop innovative approaches, processes and technologies for energy demand reduction in all stages of the food chain: production, distribution, retail and consumption. Researchers will work closely with some of the UK’s major food manufacturers, retailers, equipment manufacturers, scientific and technical providers and Knowledge Transfer Networks.
EPSRC is providing £6 miliion, and the remainder of the grant will come from the three universities and from industry.
Professor Tassou added: “This is a significant achievement for Brunel and provides a platform for us to build on our existing food related research and commercial activities.
“It will make Brunel one of the key universities in the UK and internationally for energy and food sustainability related research, and we look forward to working with our academic and industry partners as well as the wider community to accelerate progress in resource efficiency of the food sector.”
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