Nobel winner launches hub for industry excellence

Left to Right: Professor Donald J. Wuebbles, co-recipient, 2007 Nobel Peace Priz
Left to Right: Professor Donald J. Wuebbles, co-recipient, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize; Professor Colin Riordan, President and Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University and Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Rudolf Allemann, Head of the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering.
Nobel Peace Prize-winning US climate scientist, Professor Donald J. Wuebbles , has launched the UK’s newest centre for Net Zero industry solutions.

A former White House advisor and co-recipient of the 2007 prize, Professor Wuebbles formally opened the Translational Research Hub (TRH) , which brings industry and experts together to solve complex global challenges.

Researchers in the Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS) and Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI) use state-of-the-art TRH facilities to collaborate with commercial partners.

They work across sectors including energy, advanced materials, fuel, transport, communication, and healthcare, creating technologies and charting new research directions.

Addressing the Hub launch event, the expert in atmospheric science at the University of Illinois reinforced the TRH’s role in providing global scientific solutions to climate change.

"The TRH provides a special bridge for industry to access leading research which can help the planet to achieve Net Zero," said Professor Wuebbles.

"As a powerhouse for research, innovation and education, the TRH provides a sustaining ecosystem that helps Cardiff University build new R&D teams, expand its tech research base and create in-demand jobs."

Professor Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society - the world’s oldest scientific organisation - joined the event and praised the TRH for its work.

"We believe every government should develop an evidence-based roadmap setting out the technologies required to achieve the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. What is needed is a triple track approach: deploying at scale those technologies that are ready, developing and demonstrating at scale those that are not, and creating new solutions, through research, to address the decarbonisation challenge.

"This is exactly what the Translational Research Hub is doing, bringing together different disciplines for development and research, and working with industry to translate this into technology deployment. I strongly commend the Translational Research Hub for its work on semiconductor and catalysis technologies, and broader net zero innovation."

Industry, academia, government and civil society

Watch the TRH Launch Event on YouTube

Thanking industry partners and government funders, Cardiff University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, said: "The TRH is testament to our determination to build partnerships that attract investment, create prosperity and contribute to Net Zero by bringing together industry, academia, government and civil society.

"Our expertise in collaboration was a major factor in funding the TRH, which has attracted income from industry and from multiple government sources, including the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund, Welsh Government, the EPSRC, the Wales European Funding Office and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales."

Professor Ruedi Allemann, Pro Vice-Chancellor, International and Student Recruitment and Head of the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, led TRH towards completion.

"Built with industry, for industry, the TRH is a magnificent ’open’ industrial facility: open to partnerships, open to innovation and open to the creation of new scientific Net Zero solutions."

CCI collaborates with international scientists and chemical engineers in exploring advancements in areas such as fuel production and water consumption. Catalysts speed up chemical reactions, making key processes feasible, scalable and economically viable. They are the heart of nearly all industrial processes and products.

ICS is a bespoke facility for researching, testing and commercially developing compound semiconductor technologies. Using elements either side of silicon in the period table, compound semiconductors are superfast next-generation electronic chips. They will drive our lives in the 21st Century, from the Internet of Things to robotics, autonomous vehicles, 5G and healthcare technologies.

TRH is also home to Cardiff University’s newly-launched Net Zero Innovation Institute, bringing together expertise from disciplines including physical sciences, engineering, the built environment, biosciences, geosciences and planning.

The Hub forms part of Cardiff’s biggest campus upgrade for a generation - a £600m investment in the University’s future.

Learn how our cutting-edge research, technology transfer, business development and student enterprise drive our vision.