Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

UK energy research and innovation - commercial and investment priorities, skills supply, and next steps for policy

Morning, Thursday, 5th March 2020

The Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin Street, London SW1X 7DR


This conference will assess priorities for accelerating innovation in energy technologies in the UK - looking at both established and emerging sectors.

With the new government beginning its work, and with trade talks due to begin post-Brexit, areas for discussion include:

  • Policy commitments on energy innovation - including the drive towards green energy, supporting new projects, and net zero targets;
  • The planned energy white paper and further government initiatives already in progress;
  • Priorities from the UK energy sector for innovation and investment; and
  • The skills pipeline, including visas policy and removing barriers for international researchers looking to work in the UK.

Speakers and chair

There will be keynote addresses from: Matthew Billson, Head of Strategy - Energy Innovation Programme, BEIS and Professor Charlotte Deane, Deputy Executive Chair, The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Further keynote contributors include: Laura Brown, Newcastle University; Susan Falch-Lovesey, Vattenfall; Professor Martin Freer, Energy Research Accelerator and Birmingham Energy Institute, University of Birmingham; Sebastian Foot, Navigant; and Filippo Gaddo, Arup.

Also speaking are: David Cole, Atkins; Dr Kirsty Hewitson, National Nuclear Laboratory; Dr Fatemeh RezazadehSiemens Energy; David Ryan, PowerHouse Energy Group and Gemma StanleySolar Trade Association.

Lord Ravensdale has kindly agreed to chair part of this seminar.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

This Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum conference has attracted particularly strong interest from policymakers. It will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have already reserved places representing: BEIS; DfT; DIT; the UK Committee on Climate Change; the Office for Nuclear Regulation; the Crown Commercial Service; HSE; the Nuclear Innovation and Research Office; the Office for the Secretary of State for Wales; and the Welsh Government.

The agenda

  • Priorities for supporting innovation in energy technology - investment, policy developments, and net-zero emission targets;
  • Innovation in established and emerging energy technologies - decarbonisation, cost reduction, and bringing projects to market;
  • Business development, commercialisation, and supporting investor confidence;
  • Future models for investment and support - and expansion of the regulated asset base;
  • Exports based on UK energy technology development - assessing the opportunities;
  • Research, innovation and scalability across the energy sector:
    • Growing national clusters for research and innovation in energy, and addressing regional imbalances in resources and capacity;
    • Ensuring technology development works for industry - whole-system compatibility, working with supply chains, and minimising costs; and
    • Access to skills and technical capabilities for advanced technology, and preparing the workforce.
  • Using latest developments in scientific research and evidence to inform policymaking and long-term strategies.

Keynote Speaker

Matthew Billson

Head, Strategy - Energy Innovation Programme, BEIS

Keynote Speakers

Professor Charlotte Deane

Deputy Executive Chair, The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Filippo Gaddo

Associate Director, Energy Economics and Regulation, Arup

Sebastian Foot

Sustainable Finance Director, Navigant

Laura Brown

Energy Research Programme Manager, Newcastle University

Professor Martin Freer

Director, Energy Research Accelerator and Director, Birmingham Energy Institute, University of Birmingham

Susan Falch-Lovesey

Local Liaison Officer and Skills Champion, Vattenfall

Matthew Billson

Head, Strategy - Energy Innovation Programme, BEIS


Lord Ravensdale


Dr Kirsty Hewitson

Head, IP and Innovation, National Nuclear Laboratory

Gemma Stanley

Senior Policy Analyst, Solar Trade Association

David Cole

Market Director, Power Generation Assets, Atkins UK and Europe

David Ryan

Chief Executive Officer, PowerHouse Energy Group

Dr Fatemeh Rezazadeh

Green Energy Expert, Strategy and Technology Innovation, Siemens Energy