East Midlands Freeport to Fund Green Hydrogen Research
Loughborough University, in partnership with the University of Nottingham, are set to receive funding from East Midlands Freeport (EMF) to accelerate research into zero carbon technologies.


The sum of over £5 million from EMF, match funded by the Universities, has been pledged to the first phase of a zero carbon innovation centre.

Led by the University of Nottingham, the research into zero carbon innovations with commercial and policy solutions will be based at Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus and Loughborough.

It is hoped that the research will further consolidate the East Midlands’ position as a world leader in the development and deployment of innovation in green industries while attracting international investment.

The two universities are the first of seven initial projects chosen to receive funding from EMF, which is the UK’s only inland freeport.

To date, the freeport has attracted £150m of investment, signed off more than five million pounds to fund these first projects, and created 200 brand-new skilled jobs.

Tom Newman-Taylor, Chief Executive at EMF, said: “Today marks a big milestone for East Midlands Freeport as we start to deliver on our objectives and invest in major projects, like the Innovation Centre, to boost skills and jobs across the region.

“It’s only nine months since we received Government approval but, with major investors building on our sites, the second £22m phase of Maritime UK’s and Segro’s rail freight terminal nearing completion and more interest in the pipeline, we’re building momentum.”

Green hydrogen will be the focus of phase one

Phase one of the project will see the construction of a green hydrogen production, testing, and training facility at Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP).

A new battery-electrolyser will be installed at the facility, and further plans are in place to connect this to a solar PV installation for the generation of green hydrogen.

Professor Dan Parsons, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Loughborough University, said: “We are delighted that funding has been secured for the new centre, which will help ensure the East Midlands is at the forefront of net zero carbon innovation.

“We look forward to working with our colleagues at the University of Nottingham, and bringing our combined strengths together in renewable energy and hydrogen to help accelerate progress towards achieving net zero emissions.”

Green hydrogen will be central to the solution for an accelerated net zero transition. We look forward to working with the University of Nottingham, the cluster of organisations based at LUSEP and many other partners to create a globally-leading green hydrogen ecosystem in the East Midlands.

Echoing these sentiments, Professor Tom Rodden, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Nottingham, added: “With world-class facilities and research, this innovation centre will enable us to collaborate more closely with industry to accelerate the translation of zero carbon research into real-world solutions.

“This will not only help tackle the climate crisis but also deliver economic benefits to the East Midlands, as new businesses bring quality jobs to our region.

“The goal is for the East Midlands to become a global model for a flourishing zero carbon economy.”

Construction on the facility is expected to commence in Spring 2024.