Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Written Evidence

Annex 3

Memorandum from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)


  1.  The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing around £500 million a year in a broad range of subjects—from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering.

  2.  The Council operates to meet the needs of industry and society by working in partnership with universities to invest in people, scientific discovery and innovation. The knowledge and expertise gained maintains a technological leading edge, builds a strong economy and improves people's quality of life.

  3.  The work of EPSRC is complementary to other research investors including other Research Councils, government agencies, industry and the European Union. The Council actively engages in and encourages partnerships and collaborations across disciplines, boundaries and the world.

  4.  EPSRC also actively promotes public engagement in science, engineering and technology.


  5.  EPSRC, in conjunction with other Research Councils and other partners has developed a portfolio of research which includes activities driven by climate change challenges. For example:

    —  EPSRC, in collaboration with the UK Climate Impact Programme (UKCIP) funded by Defra, has assembled a £3.2 million portfolio of research into the potential long-term impacts of climate change on the built environment, transport and utilities in the UK.

    —  Sponsorship, with the Carbon Trust, of the Carbon Vision programme. This £14 million programme will support research into low-carbon technologies. The first £5.4 million consortia, Building for Low Carbon Communities, will start in autumn 2004; it aims to demonstrate how carbon emissions from the UK building stock can be reduced by 50% by 2030, and to act as a catalyst for action to achieve these savings.

    —  The EPSRC SUPERGEN programme, described in the introductory text.

    —  The Research Councils' Towards a Sustainable Energy Economy Programme, with NERC and ESRC, and UK Energy Research Centre.

    —  In collaboration with NERC and ESRC, EPSRC also contributes £3.75M to the overall budget of £10 million over five years for the Tyndall Centre.

  7.  For further information on EPSRC support for energy research please see the newly-published EPSRC Briefing on Energy Research available at:

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