University of Oxford Biochemistry building

ARCC news for January 2015

ARCC network news & events

First ARCC network data group meeting

The first meeting of the ARCC network data and information management group found that 80% of EPSRC built environment and infrastructure grants have submitted entries to Researchfish. This is a good result from the first Annual Submission Round. But more needs to be done ensure institutions are compliant with EPSRC’s data policy which comes into full effect on 1 May 2015. See the ARCC website for further information.

Calling Early Career Researchers – expressions of interest for workshop on creating proposals

The ARCC network is continuing its programme of activities for Early Career researchers (ECRs) working in the built environment and infrastructure sectors. We are proposing to hold one or two events this spring to develop ECRs’ skills for creating effective proposals. In the first instance, we are inviting prospective attendees to let us know their preferences for location and timing of the event. The survey closes at the end of January. Anyone interested in participating is invited to complete a short survey.

Project news & events

Infrastructure networks get parliamentary scrutiny

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has been taking expert advice on climate change adaptation. Early in the new year, the Committee held a session on infrastructure networks, and heard from a panel of experts, including Professor Jim Hall (Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium) and John Dora (Environment Agency’s Infrastructure Operators’ Adaptation Forum and ARCC network Advisory Group). The transcript of the session is now online.

ARCC network researchers hosting session at European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA)

Two researchers from the ARCC network are co-ordinating sessions at the forthcoming ECCA event in Copenhagen in May this year.  Thomas Prime (University of Liverpool, ARCoES) is hosting a session on tools to support coastal management in the face of climate change. Richard Dawson (University of Newcastle, iBUILD, RESNET) is hosting a session on the interactions between mitigation, adaptation and sustainability in urban areas. Abstracts are invited by 1 February 2015. Further information about the sessions and the submission process are available on the ECCA website.

iBUILD Manifesto for Innovative Infrastructure Business Models

An alignment of the general election and mid-point of the iBUILD (Infrastructure Business models, valuation and innovation for Local Delivery) Infrastructure Research Centre’s current research programme will see the team launch a manifesto of their key findings to date. The manifesto draws upon the team’s research to deliver a series of recommendations to unlock innovative business models for practitioners, local and national government. It will be launched on Thursday 26 March at 4pm, at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in London. The launch will be followed by a panel discussion and drinks reception.

Other news

Flood risk data for all

Environment Agency data on flood risk from rivers and sea is being made available free of charge in an effort to encourage the development of new digital services. During the 2014 floods, some data was made available and was used in innovative ways to help affected communities. With this in mind, the Environment Agency hope that the release of data will prompt new services to provide better information about flood risk, and help individuals and businesses to protect themselves.

Changes to the UKCP09 climate projections website

The UKCP09 climate change projections website has been refreshed and updated. UKCP09 remains the most up-to-date source of climate change information for the UK, and the new site has been designed to be easier to use, particularly for those new to climate change impacts and adaptation. Feedback and questions about the new site can be sent to the Climate Ready Evidence Team.

Report finds limited adaptation progress in Europe’s transport system

The European Environment Agency has published an assessment of adaptation and Europe’s transport network. It identifies flooding as a major hazard, although storms and the impacts of high temperatures also cause significant disruption. The report also acknowledges the challenges of adaptation for the sector, where infrastructures are complex and involve many institutions, businesses and individuals.

Council for Science & Technology publish report on economic and social costs of electricity shortfalls

Electricity supply: economic and social costs of electricity shortfalls, written by the Royal Academy of Engineering for the Council for Science and Technology, explores some of the social and economic costs and impacts that could arise from disruptions and shortfalls in electricity supply. The report highlights a number of uncertainties and areas for further research, including: impacts of a weak security of supply, behavioural impacts of outages on household; and impacts of outages on the digital economy.

Three climate change vacancies in Edinburgh

Sniffer – a charity working on resilience and sustainability issues in Scotland – are advertising three climate change-related posts: Climate Resilience Project Coordinator, Information Support Officer at Sniffer and Information Officer at ClimateXChange. Further details of the posts are on the Sniffer website, and the closing dates for applications are noon on 23 January (4 February for the ClimateXChange post).

Mapping the UK’s research landscape

The Council for Science and Technology – responsible for advising the Prime Minister on science and technology issues – has launched a project to gather information in order to map the UK research community. An online tool allows researchers to register information about themselves and their work, and to indicate how they believe their work links to other research disciplines. Described as a crowdsourcing project, it is expected that the data will provide a unique view of the UK research landscape and how it is connected.

Funding news

Innovate UK have made a number of announcements of funding opportunities relevant to built environment and infrastructure. Several briefing events to be held from 27 January provide further information about a number of these calls.

£7m for R&D projects on an urban living theme

Up to £7m is available for collaborative R&D projects to develop outputs which use integrated data management systems to support sustainable growth in cities. Proposals must be collaborative, business-led and aimed at enabling consortia to design, prototype, develop and evaluate products and services with city authorities and other users in mind. Successful projects are expected to have total costs of £350–700k. The deadline for registration is at noon on 4 February 2015 and the deadline for expressions of interest is at noon on 11 February 2015.

Integrated transport: local authority solutions

This call offers up to £9 million for collaborative, business-led R&D to stimulate innovation in integrated transport solutions for local authorities, working with councils to make transport more user-friending and accessible. Project costs are expected to be in the range of £2–4m, for up to 2 years. The deadline for registration is noon on 18 March; and the deadline for applications is noon on 25 March.

Building Whole-Life Performance

Innovate UK will invest up to £4m to enable research into new knowledge for developing innovative products, processes or services for the whole-life performance of buildings. Proposals must be business-led. Individual project costs are expected to be £150–800k. This is a two-stage competition, which opens on 23 February. The deadline for registration is noon on 1 April, with a deadline of noon on 8 April for expressions of interest.

Supply chain integration in construction

The Supply chain integration in construction call is to help address problems arising from the fragmented nature of the construction industry. Up to £2m is be available for feasibility studies to explore new ways of increasing collaboration and improving the flow of information throughout the construction supply chain. Grants are expected to be £50–150k. The competition opens on 9 March. The deadline for registration is 15 April, with applications to be received by noon on 22 April.


Architecture and Resilience on a Human Scale

10–12 September, Sheffield

Architecture and Resilience on a Human Scale will focus on research, strategies and projects to build local resilience to major societal changes, such as climate change and extreme weather, and is aimed at researchers and practitioners involved in neighbourhood research addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation. The call for abstracts is open, with a deadline of 16 January. A call for workshop proposals will be announced later this month.

IWA UK National Young Water Professionals Conference

15–17 April, Glasgow

This event, sponsored by Scottish Water, Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, is open to all young professionals (under 35), including post graduates and people who are at the earlier stages of their career. There will be site visits, a career forum and meetings with CEOs of the water industry. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 18 January.

CIBSE Technical Symposium 2015, Simple Building, Better Buildings?

16–17 April, London

Simple Building, Better Buildings? will bring together practitioners, researchers and building users to share experiences and develop networks. The theme considers whether the trend for complexity in building design is a constraint on lifetime performance.

European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA)

12–14 May, Copenhagen, Denmark

ECCA will provide an opportunity for researchers, policymakers and businesses to share information, project outputs and ideas, as well as demonstrating the benefits of a European adaptation economy.