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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I01344X/1
Title: UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC): PROGRAMME GRANT: Long term dynamics of interdependent infrastructure systems
Principal Investigator: Hall, Professor JW
Other Investigators:
Bullock, Professor S Jenkins, Professor N Nicholls, Professor RJ
Birkin, Professor M Curtis, Professor TP Kilsby, Professor C
Jones, Professor CB Watson, Professor J Preston, Professor JM
Tyler, Professor P Powrie, Professor W Eyre, Dr NJ
Barr, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Arup Group Ltd Association of North East Councils Atkins Ltd
BAM Black & Veatch BP
BT CABE Cabinet Office
CH2M Hill (Halcrow) Communities and Local Government Costain
DEFRA Department for Transport Department of Energy and Climate Change
E.ON E&P UK Ltd Environment Agency (Grouped) Highways England
Infrastructure UK Institution of Civil Engineers Institution of Engineering & Technology
Institution of Mechanical Engineers JBA Consulting KTN - Energy Generation and Supply
Local Government Group Met Office Mott Macdonald
MWH UK Ltd National Grid Network Rail
Northumbrian Water Ltd Ordnance Survey Parsons Brinckerhoff
Royal Haskoning Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) Swanbarton Limited
Town & Country Planning ASS Transport Scotland UK Water Industry Research Ltd (UKWIR)
United Utilities Veolia Environmental Services Willis Limited
Yorkshire Water
Department: Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Organisation: Newcastle University
Scheme: Programme Grants
Starts: 01 January 2011 Ends: 07 February 2011 Value (£): 4,730,842
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Complexity Science Structural Engineering
Sustainable Energy Networks Urban & Land Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Water Energy
Construction Environment
Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
10 Sep 2010 M3E/PES Programme Grant Interview Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
National infrastructure (NI) systems (energy, transport, water, waste and ICT) in the UK and in advanced economies globally face serious challenges. The 2009 Council for Science and Technology (CST) report on NI in the UK identified significant vulnerabilities, capacity limitations and a number of NI components nearing the end of their useful life. It also highlighted serious fragmentation in the arrangements for infrastructure provision in the UK. There is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from infrastructure, to respond to future demographic, social and lifestyle changes and to build resilience to intensifying impacts of climate change. If this process of transforming NI is to take place efficiently, whilst also minimising the associated risks, it will need to be underpinned by a long-term, cross-sectoral approach to understanding NI performance under a range of possible futures. The 'systems of systems' analysis that must form the basis for such a strategic approach does not yet exist - this inter-disciplinary research programme will provide it.The aim of the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium is to develop and demonstrate a new generation of system simulation models and tools to inform analysis, planning and design of NI. The research will deal with energy, transport, water, waste and ICT systems at a national scale, developing new methods for analysing their performance, risks and interdependencies. It will provide a virtual environment in which we will test strategies for long term investment in NI and understand how alternative strategies perform with respect to policy constraints such as reliability and security of supply, cost, carbon emissions, and adaptability to demographic and climate change.The research programme is structured around four major challenges:1. How can infrastructure capacity and demand be balanced in an uncertain future? We will develop methods for modelling capacity, demand and interdependence in NI systems in a compatible way under a wide range of technological, socio-economic and climate futures. We will thereby provide the tools needed to identify robust strategies for sustainably balancing capacity and demand.2. What are the risks of infrastructure failure and how can we adapt NI to make it more resilient?We will analyse the risks of interdependent infrastructure failure by establishing network models of NI and analysing the consequences of failure for people and the economy. Information on key vulnerabilities and risks will be used to identify ways of adapting infrastructure systems to reduce risks in future.3. How do infrastructure systems evolve and interact with society and the economy? Starting with idealised simulations and working up to the national scale, we will develop new models of how infrastructure, society and the economy evolve in the long term. We will use the simulation models to demonstrate alternative long term futures for infrastructure provision and how they might be reached.4. What should the UK's strategy be for integrated provision of NI in the long term? Working with a remarkable group of project partners in government and industry, we will use our new methods to develop and test alternative strategies for Britain's NI, building an evidence-based case for a transition to sustainability. We will analyse the governance arrangements necessary to ensure that this transition is realisable in practice.A Programme Grant provides the opportunity to work flexibly with key partners in government and industry to address research challenges of national importance in a sustained way over five years. Our ambition is that through development of a new generation of tools, in concert with our government and industry partners, we will enable a revolution in the strategic analysis of NI provision in the UK, whilst at the same time becoming an international landmark programme recognised for novelty, research excellence and impact.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.ncl.ac.uk