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University of Cambridge Decarbonisation Network


To tackle the urgent threat of climate change, the input of the social sciences, humanities and arts is increasingly recognised as vital. The climate crisis has given rise to the development of new carbon reduction technologies; interdisciplinary engagement is central to our ability to adopt these but also question and critique them. This scoping event aims to develop understanding of the University of Cambridge’s decarbonisation research landscape and identify where researchers can benefit from interdisciplinary collaboration and industry input. This is part of a longer term initiative to enable the Decarbonisation Network to support academic strategic priorities going forwards.

Please register at: 


• 13:30 – 14:00: Registration and arrival

• 14:00 – 15:00: Examples of research related to decarbonisation & pro and cons of interdisciplinary working and industry collaboration (4-5 speakers via panel discussion)

• 15:00 – 15:10: Break

• 15:10 – 17:00: Focus group discussions (break midway). Topics: 1) Current research landscape i.e. how research relates to decarbonisation and key topics for collaboration within and across departments. 2) Ongoing and potential industry collaborations (focus group discussions) i.e. where are there gaps in industry input and how could (or couldn’t) your research benefit from industrial engagement.

• 17:00 - 1800: Networking drinks

On the day we will have external facilitation and a live illustrator to help capture some of the key ideas.


The Decarbonisation Network aims to connect University of Cambridge academics with external industry representatives working towards decarbonisation. Currently, there are three Special Interest Groups (SIGs): Light Harvesting, the Built Environment and Hard to Decarbonise Technologies. The SIGs have been identified as clusters of expertise within the University of Technology areas that can benefit from broader academic-industry collaborations. The Network works across the collegiate University, is supported by Strategic Partnerships Office and operates in collaboration with Cambridge Zero and the Energy Interdisciplinary Research Centre.

The Network was piloted from 2021-2022, with a full time coordinator beginning in August 2022. To date, over 20 online panel discussions and one in-person symposium have taken place focusing on a range of topics. All events are attended by a mixture of internal and external people, and there are currently ~400 specialists registered to the Network’s mailing list, half of whom are external and represent ~130 organisations. Summaries of meetings are available on the Network’s website.

An initial aim of SIGs was to promote academic collaboration across Schools and departments within the University. Currently, although useful new collaborations have been seeded and industry partners engaged, the majority of academics within the Network are still from the School of Technology. Going forwards, a core aim is to engage more academics from other Schools including representatives from the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities. Ultimately, creating routes for collaboration and exchange with business and other academics within the University.

We have received funding for this event from Research England Enhancing Research Culture Fund via The School of Physical Sciences and The School of Technology.

Aims of the event

This scoping event aims to identify:

• Current research in the social sciences, humanities and arts related to decarbonisation and where research can benefit from industry input.

• Crossovers with the Decarbonisation Network’s SIGs (the Built Environment, Light Harvesting and Hard to Decarbonise technologies) and potential discussion topics for the Network’s future events.

• Gaps in academic and industry collaboration where a new industrial contacts or SIG(s) could help.


Long-term aspirations

• Consolidating the engagement of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities in the current SIGs while continuing engagement with the School of Technology.

• Providing the Schools of ‘Arts and Humanities’ and ‘Humanities and Social Sciences’ an opportunity to lead SIGs that serve their academic priorities.

• Scope out new industry connections and opportunities for collaboration.


Target audience

• Principal investigators and research managers inc. potential SIG leads and/or team members.

• Early-career researchers inc. post-docs, PhD students

• We encourage people from all disciplines to attend to ensure that there can be interdisciplinary discussions.



• In advance, attendees are encouraged to take a photo* or draw a picture that represents their work and write a couple sentences about their research relates to decarbonisation.

*All photos submitted will be put on CRASSH website and form part of a report published on decarbonisation network website. Therefore, please ensure the photo/drawing is your own or that it comes with a Creative Commons licence and source is identified.



• Report and website displaying photographs/sketches.

• Graphic depicting the research landscape and key points of conversation


Please direct any queries to

For more information on the Network please visit:

Wednesday, 3 May, 2023 - 14:00 to 17:00