Harwell’s Net Zero Energy Conference to showcase path for ‘Green Industrial Revolution’


Harwell Campus, a major UK science and innovation hub, will be hosting its annual Net Zero EnergyTec conference on Thursday 21st January. The virtual event will explore the latest innovative technologies and applications alongside engineering initiatives that are addressing the greatest energy challenges of our time.

Launched in March 2018, the Harwell Campus EnergyTec Cluster now comprises 57 industry, academic and public organisations working on the Campus, collectively employing more than 1,100 people.

The Harwell Net Zero Energy Conference will bring together academia, national facilities and industry in one place to tackle the pathway to a greener future. Chief Scientific Advisor to BEIS, Paul Monks will be speaking at the event alongside panellists including: Elodi Viau, Head of The European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications, Ian Ellerington CTO, Faraday Institute; Alice Porter, UKRI Deputy Commercial Director; Professor Paul Beasley; Siemens, and Jack Nicholas CEO of Qdot the University of Oxford spin-out that develops heat transfer technology for the most challenging thermal environments.

Harwell Campus is already using the campus as a testbed for Net Zero technologies through its Living Laboratory. It is home to the £74 million Faraday Institute which is the knowledge partner to STEPS, a N.W. Europe project aiming to democratise the energy storage industry. Other projects, such as the Telefonica Darwin Project is enabling the testing of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles; and QDot is developing battery thermal management technology enabling faster charging with smaller batteries at lower cost, giving consumers longer driving range and saving the worry of losing battery power.

Barbara Ghinelli, the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Director of Clusters and Campus Business Development at , Harwell Campus, comments: “The Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) recommended pathway to Net Zero will bring the UK’s previous 80% target forward by nearly 15 years which is an exciting challenge that will stimulate innovation and create thousands of new jobs. The vision behind the EnergyTec Cluster and the emerging Net Zero Living Lab at Harwell is to support government in this endeavour by accelerating and integrating multiple efforts from across the UK and made across a whole range of Net Zero applications which collectively shift the dial towards this target. This year’s EnergyTec conference will bring the key developments and innovations being used to reach a greener future to the forefront.  ”

Emma Southwell-Sander, STFC’s Development Manager of the EnergyTec Cluster at Harwell Campus, added: “The Net Zero conference will showcase our commitment to the government’s direction for greener energies, focused on delivering on targets, and using the ecosystem that we have established to act on this challenge. The EnergyTec Cluster encompasses key stakeholders from the government, industry and academia from across the UK and is fully committed to the government’s mission for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ that will help create 350,000 jobs. The Cluster already includes 57 organisations with a wider network across the UK and its location on the Harwell Campus gives it unprecedented access to the STFC’s national labs and facilities at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. ”


The first week of 2021 has already seen a sizeable UK government investment announced of to £13 million in the wider Harwell science campus in which STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratories sits, including support on improved  environmental sustainability and funding for the setting up of more electric car charging ports on campus and the installation of more solar panels


The full programme can be found below:


  • 10.15-10.30: Arrival and Registration (Lobby Area)

  • 10.30-11.30: Speaker Session: How to expedite Net Zero Technology in the UK

  • Welcome Emma Southwell- Sander; Harwell EnergyTec Cluster Development Manager.  STFC

  •  Key Speakers: Chief Scientific Advisor to BEIS Paul Monks; Dr Barbara Ghinelli, STFC; Martin Aston, Airbus; James Barth, Reaction Engines; Eric Brown, Energy Systems Catapult

  • 11.30-11.45: Coffee Break and Networking

  • 11.45-12.30: Panel Discussion with Q&A: Accelerating the Journey through Engineering between Concept and Commercialisation to Grow the UK’s Net Zero Energy Capabilities. Chaired by Professor Joe Howe; Chester University, Ian Ellerington CTO; Faraday Institution, Alice Porter; UKRI Deputy Commercial Director, Elodie Viau; ESCAT Director of Telecommunication and Integrated Applications, Professor Paul Beasley; Siemens, Professor Bill David; STFC Oxford University and Harwell Campus, Jack Nicholas CEO; QDot.

  • 12:25-12:30: Closing Remarks