Research

Cleaner transport 

The University of Nottingham is leading Trans-Mid, a project to help make UK travel carbon-neutral by 2050 and to eliminate C02 from every stage in both transport manufacturing and the logistics supply chain.

Through research and innovation, Trans-Mid aims to reduce logistics emissions by 40 per cent and boost regional chain jobs by 12 per cent. All while demonstrating £785m (GVA impact) by 2035.

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Nottingham, Coventry and Birmingham universities have partnered with major transport technology firms and local suppliers to the rail, road and aviation industries and together are developing greener materials and products that are designed, sourced and produced sustainably and locally, alongside new carbon-neutral manufacturing and logistics processes.

Trans-Mid research and development is focusing on:

  • Electric drives/power transmission
  • Lightweight materials
  • Electric storage
  • Thermal propulsion
  • Virtual manufacturing/rapid prototyping and testing
  • Automated flexible manufacturing
  • Future transport policy

Nottingham’s Trans-Mid Co-Director, Professor Alasdair Cairns, said, “Decarbonised transport requires not only elimination of greenhouse gases at the ‘tailpipe’, but also a reduction in embedded CO2 in the materials and manufacturing processes and logistics.

“Our approach will ensure all greenhouse gas is accounted from the outset, in turn helping companies to design and make innovative products that are truly sustainable and right first time.

“Trans-Mid will establish the Midlands as a ‘supercluster’ for net zero transport technologies while supporting the UK Government’s commitment to carbon neutrality in the next 30 years.

“It will deliver effective decarbonisation of complete transport supply chains from within the Midlands, minimising C02 across the full product life cycle, through new technologies, businesses and an expanded and upskilled regional workforce to compete globally.”

The consortium will also act as a Centre of Excellence in Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) for zero emissions transport manufacturing; offering consultancy to support firms to innovate in product development and intelligent manufacture and helping the UK government to shape and define new transport policies.

Professor Chris Gerada, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Industrial Strategy, Business Engagement and Impact) and Trans-Mid Co-Director, said, “The proposal brings together top UK universities, innovation assets and world-class companies to work with SMEs to boost the regional economy and help decarbonise transport.

“We are proud to be leading on this initiative as it represents an exciting opportunity for regional businesses to develop next-generation, green products and manufacturing processes through an LCA–led design approach.”

Trans-Mid is one of 17 projects across the UK to receive up to £50,000 in Government funding each to respond to some of the world’s most pressing challenges – from climate change to the production of medicines – while simultaneously driving local economic growth, providing skills training and creating high-value jobs.

 

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