In March 2021, a Call for Projects was extended by UKCRIC to core members to fund projects that meet its strategic priorities. Based on assessment and prioritisation of the applications received (around four times over-subscribed), the UKCRIC Management Board has awarded five projects with the funds requested.
Those five projects are:
Accelerating UKCRIC Mission 3: Ownership, governance, and business models for infrastructure and urban systems
Suburban-fringe ‘on-demand’ algorithm based shared transport
UKCRIC transition decision support
PLEXUS PLUS: multi-scale soil scanning for evaluating abutment-soil interaction in Integral Abutment Bridges
Establishing a Competencies Framework for Infrastructure Policy Professionals
The assessment and prioritisation process ensured that projects made a contribution to establishing a UKCRIC institute, addressed stakeholder engagement and equality, diversity and inclusion, and aligned with UKCRIC missions on Environment and Sustainability, Adaptation and Change, Governance and Resilience, and Social Justice and Healthy Living.
Prof. Paul Jeffrey, Lead Investigator for Accelerating UKCRIC Mission 3 and Professor of Water Management at Cranfield University, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have this project funded. The UKCRIC missions provide a focus for the national research effort on infrastructure and urban futures and this funding gives us an opportunity to explore how ownership, governance, and business models can shape low carbon and more resilient solutions.”
Prof. Gordon Masterton, Lead Investigator for UKCRIC transition decision support and Chair of Future Infrastructure at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The collaborators from UCL, Loughborough and Edinburgh universities are delighted that this proposal was accepted. It is focussed on providing UKCRIC with research-based support for the critical decisions that will be required to inform the future UKCRIC operating model (including future legal status, and governance), ensuring that the plan remains viable for the very long term by building in mechanisms for responsiveness and adaptation, ensuring that Equality Diversity and Inclusion is built in to both the process of research and the project deliverables. It will involve strong stakeholder engagement, with a major contribution in kind from Arup to help with workshopping of validation events.”
Prof. Anastasios Sextos, Lead Investigator for PLEXUS PLUS and Professor of Earthquake Engineering at the University of Bristol, said: “PLEXUS PLUS aims to achieve a step change in the understanding the seasonal bridge-abutment interaction through the combined application of large-scale testing, state-of-the-art modelling and in-soil monitoring. With the support of UKCRIC it will enhance cross-institutional, interdisciplinary collaboration, data sharing and joint cutting-edge research paving the way for real-time hybrid testing among its facilities."
Jenny McArthur, Lead Investigator for Establishing a Competencies Framework for Infrastructure Policy Professionals and Lecturer in Urban Infrastructure and Public Policy at University College London, said: “We’re thrilled to have this project funded! As infrastructure policy becomes increasingly important to respond to the climate crisis and improve societal wellbeing, this research will contribute to UKCRIC’s missions by synthesising insights on the key competencies required for policy professionals.”
For full details, please see the Call for Projects document.