National Grid and the University of Warwick have reached an agreement to extend their strategic alliance that has been running for the past two years.
Over the past two years the alliance has overseen £1.5m in research with projects including electricity transmission; asset management; gas transmission; microtunnelling, and cyber security.
The partnership has also seen the University and the National Grid research how to make use of more renewable energy sources in the national transmission network.
The University of Warwick and the National Grid signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier this week and will see the two organisations continue to collaborate with upcoming plans to explore energy storage and big data.
The alliance has also delivered a great deal of partnership community work, particularly with young people including:
- Training for young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs)to help them into work – Warwick provides the training space while National Grid provides the training
- The National Grid Get Skilled initiative helps 14 and 15-year olds who might be in danger of missing out on employment. The first cohort to carry out work placements with University departments and graduated in November 2013, with a ceremony held at the University’s Scarman House.
- National Grid made a greatly valued contribution to the formation of the WMG Academy (a school closely associated with WMG at the University of Warwick that focuses on delivering an engineering centred curriculum to pupils) , and they continue to add significant value including through provision of equipment and staff time to the school.
- National Grid has made a significant contribution to the curriculum of Warwick’s International Gateway for Gifted Youth.
The MoU will continue to grow the work that the two organisations have already begun and the first act of this new era of partnership is that the National Grid have agreed to sponsor the university’s discovery zone at the Warwick Festival of Imagination for £10,000.
University of Warwick’s vice-chancellor, Professor Sir Nigel Thrift commented: “I and many of my colleagues work from a building that used be National Grid’s headquarters, but that is not what makes them a natural partner for the University.
“Warwick’s research strengths in a range of technologies that are crucial to energy supply, and our shared desire to support the development of young people’s skills and training have been central to our partnership to date and will drive even greater collaboration through this new memorandum of understanding”
Director of electricity transmission asset management, David Wright said: “National Grid is always looking to innovate, to find new ways of doing things that benefit our customers.
“We know that Warwick is at the forefront in terms of innovative research and an investment that seeks to encourage advancement in engineering and technology is an investment that will pay dividends for everyone in the future. We are keen to continue our positive relationship with the University.”