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10/19/05

Today (1st November 2005) sees the launch of the Research Councils' Energy Programme at the first in a series of 'Energy Research Summits'.

This summit begins a process of strategic engagement on research and training priorities with energy related business.

The launch represents a significant step forward in helping the UK meet the objectives and targets set out in the 2003 Energy White Paper, to drive forward the sustainable and low carbon energy agenda. The overall Energy Programme will be building on existing research in this area.

The Energy Programme is being managed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

EPSRC will be working closely with sister research councils BBSRC, CCLRC, ESRC and NERC along with the DTI to develop the research portfolio. This will cover a wide area across the economic, social, environmental and biological sciences as well as the engineering and physical sciences.

Initial funding of 30M for the programme came from the 2004 Spending Review. Alongside this there has been substantial investment from the individual research councils involved. In addition the Office of Science and Technology has challenged the Research Councils to increase their energy spending from 40M pa in 2005/6 to 70M pa in 2007/8.

This event will include a showcase of energy research already underway in the UK. Details will also be announced regarding a new post of Energy Senior Research Fellow. A second energy summit will take place in May 2006 to report on progress and decide on action for the future.

The launch will include a presentation by Malcolm Wicks, Minister of State for Energy and the Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Professor John O'Reilly.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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