Energy Research Accelerator appoints new CEO

The Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) has today announced the appointment of Gordon Waddington as its Chief Executive Officer. The appointment follows the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of an initial £60 million funding for the Midlands based energy research and development hub, as a founding project of the Midlands Engine for Growth Programme.

The appointment is a significant milestone for the partnership between the six Midlands Innovation research universities, including the University of Leicester, and the British Geological Survey, set to drive acceleration in the impact of energy research in the UK.

Based on complementary Thermal (T-ERA), Integrated systems (I-ERA) and Geo and gaseous (G-ERA) research strands, ERA aims to bring together the very best in energy research. It will build on the Midlands’ extensive industrial base to tackle the biggest energy challenges, such as decarbonising transportation and manufacturing, and making best use of the energy wasted in heating and cooling.

Gordon’s role will initially focus on establishing ERA’s partnerships with the wider academic, business and industry communities, as well as the necessary governance structure to ensure it is ready to deliver on its aims. In addition to the £60 million announcement by Government, the project has already secured tens of millions of funding from a coalition of industry backers including Jaguar Land Rover, Siemens and leading SMEs Blueprint and the Dearman Engine Company. 

Gordon Waddington, ERA CEO, said: “By building on the Midlands’ industrial heritage and technical expertise, ERA will not only help ensure the region maintains its position as a manufacturing and innovation hub, but can create jobs and wealth to fulfil its potential as an Engine for Growth.”