Harwell Campus, the Oxfordshire science and innovation hub, has revealed that its EnergyTec Cluster has grown by 17% since its launch in May 2018.

EnergyTec now comprises 35 industry, academic and public organisations working on the Campus, collectively employing around 900 people. A further 26 companies, which started off in Harwell’s Space or HealthTec Clusters, now also focus on the energy sector as a major market for their innovative technologies.

With a focus on energy storage, battery technologies and carbon neutral alternatives to fossil fuels, the technologies emerging from these 61 organisations will influence every aspect of life across work, travel and recreation, improving the environment and developing sustainable alternatives for the future.

The announcement of the success of the EnergyTec Cluster was made at the Clean Growth and Infrastructure Innovation Conference taking place at Harwell today, where the UK’s energy experts met to understand the opportunities for the UK’s Energy sector arising from the government’s £170m investment from the Industrial Clusters mission. Through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the government is aiming to attract innovators, investors and problem solvers to create low-carbon exemplars that others in the UK can learn from and replicate.

The capability, technology and expertise that innovation hubs such as Harwell’s EnergyTec Cluster can offer puts the UK in a strong position to reach the UK’s ambitious objective of establishing a net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040.

Harwell Campus, which in total has 200 organisations employing 5,500 people, focuses on successfully commercialising scientific research and new technologies through clusters in the major markets of Space, Health and Energy. The EnergyTec Cluster counts multinational organisations including Siemens and EDF Energy among its cohort; consultants such as Ricardo Energy & Environment, and fast-growing start-ups such as Zap&Go and MIRICO. The Faraday Institution, which has received a £74m investment from the UK Government to accelerate battery technology in the UK, sits at the heart of the Cluster alongside open access facilities, the Diamond Lightsource and ISIS Neutron & Muon Source.

“Harwell Campus’s uniqueness lies in its cross-industry collaboration,” explained Dr Barbara Ghinelli, Cluster and Campus business development director at Harwell Campus for the UKRI Science and Technology Facilities Council.

“The 26 organisations from the Space and Health Clusters that now have technologies or applications being used in the energy sector are testament to the powerful advantage of working in close proximity with organisations that have nothing to do with your original market. But through shared learning and collaboration new business opportunities are identified and innovative solutions to long standing problems are created.”