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University of Cambridge Decarbonisation Network


This workshop aims to develop understanding of the physical and technical sciences' role in securing our low-carbon future by identifying the current research related to decarbonisation within the University of Cambridge. We want to hear from you about what research you are doing/want to do, potential topics of collaboration and gaps in industry input. We encourage people from all disciplines to attend to ensure that there can be interdisciplinary discussions. This is part of a longer term initiative to enable the Network to support academic strategic priorities going forwards.

Please register art: 


  • 10:00 – 10:30: Arrival and registration including coffee.
  • 10:30 - 10:40: Introduction by Nigel Peake, head of School of Physical Sciences
  • 10:40 - 11:15: Current research landscape (focus group discussions) i.e. how research relates to decarbonisation and key topics for collaboration within and across departments.
  • 11:15 - 12:00: 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.
  • 12:00 – 12:30: Feedback to group
  • 12:30 - 13:30: Networking lunch


Target audience

University of Cambridge staff and students including:

  • 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.



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 the School of Physical Sciences, whilst continuing with ongoing engagement with the School of Technology. Ultimately, creating routes for collaboration and exchange with business and other academics within the University.


Aims of the event

This scoping event aims to identify:

  • Current research related to decarbonisation in: The School of Physical Sciences and School of Technology.
  • 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 the School of Physical Sciences in the current SIGs while continuing engagement with the School of Technology.
  • Providing the School of Physical Sciences an opportunity to lead SIGs that serve their academic priorities.
  • Scope out new industry connections and opportunities for collaboration.


Report and illustration(s) summarising the current research landscape, potential topics of collaboration and gaps in industry input.


Other events/activities:

  • 3rd May: How can the social sciences, arts and humanities help us decarbonise? Event hosted in collaboration with CRASSH
  • Developing understanding of industry aspirations for the Network.
  • Ongoing online panel discussions.

Please direct any queries to

For more information on the Network please visit:

Friday, 21 April, 2023 - 10:00 to 12:30
Event location: 
Maxwell Centre, West Cambridge Site