Regional Initiatives

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI)

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) is a leading international centre of bioenergy research technology at Aston University. EBRI works with industrial partners to develop and test technologies in fields such as pyrolysis, gasification, biogas, bio-hydrogen and algal-based biofuels. EBRI has recently built world class bioenergy technology testing and demonstration facilities which enable industrial partners to test and develop technologies and biofuel feedstocks.

EBRI works with many industrial partners from across Europe, including West Midlands businesses such as Severn Trent, E.ON, Biogen Greenfinch, Cofely and Veolia. Applications include decentralised bio-fuel production for low carbon vehicles, housing and urban developments.

EBRI plans to expand to 70 staff and £10 million in turnover over the next few years. It is located in the West Midlands because of the region’s strong ambitions on the low carbon agenda, combined with strengths and benefits such as:

  • the region’s strong skills base on low carbon technologies; 
  • the proximity to large markets and many industrial partners; 
  • the lower cost base compared with the south east and other parts of western Europe; and 
  • the availability of industrial premises and development land.


Birmingham Energy Savers (BES)

Birmingham Energy Savers (BES) is the UK’s leading housing retrofit programme and the largest in Europe. It has been set up by Climate-KIC partner Birmingham City Council to retrofit housing and nondomestic buildings. BES will deliver low carbon retrofit to up to 60,000 households in Birmingham by 2020, fitting properties with energy efficiency measures such as insulation, new boilers and renewable energy technologies.

Initially worth up to £600 million, activity may be extended to other parts of the West Midlands and be worth up to £1.5 billion to 2020, by making it one of world’s largest retrofit schemes. Carillion Energy Services is delivering BES in partnership with Birmingham City Council and will be working with many businesses based within Birmingham and across the West Midlands, generating significant business and employment opportunities.


EU networks

Climate-KIC’s West Midlands partners are involved with national and EU networks, including:


INTERREG project District+