The Sustainable Urban Systems and Infrastructure NetworkPlus (SUSI Network+) call was inspired by the shared goals (e.g., Net Zero, Levelling Up) of three UKRI research councils: the Natural Environment Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. They joined together for this call to create new multidisciplinary research communities to encourage a “system of systems” approach to research challenges. The aim of these new networks was to champion opportunities for environmental solutions in urban contexts for clean growth across UK. A critical motivation was to support and evolve the wider infrastructure and urban systems research communities and extend the value of the previous investment into UKCRIC by expanding the UKCRIC network and utilising its facilities. To this end, SUSI Network+ applicants were encouraged to utilise UKCRIC facilities as much as possible. The three successful SUSI Network+ networks are therefore highly complementary and UKCRIC is planning meetings and an event to explore reciprocal relationships and collaborations going forward.

A green, connected and prosperous Britain (GCPB) is a SUSI Network+ led by London South Bank University with Imperial College London, Sussex University, and Essex University. The network will promote, investigate and drive a model that establishes a greater correlation between 5G and the energy sector, and establish a globally significant research research network to incubate and accelerate innovations resulting from its implementation. The primary goal of this initiative is to facilitate, explore and accelerate digital connectivity across urban and rural areas by synergising 5G (and beyond), the renewable energy sector, green innovations and end users.

The objective is to generate a massively integrated urban-rural model, comprising real- time applications for enriching sparse measurement data through the application of digital twins informed by real data; scenario simulation appropriate to validate and refine policy for future energy, telecoms, mobility and carbon systems; and benchmarking of digital communications and net-zero innovations.

In addition to these efforts, the network will focus on addressing the training and skills needs across various sectors to ensure a robust and thriving job market, with the aim to equip the workforce across the UK with the necessary skills to meet the rising labor demands in various industries, preparing them to tackle the challenges of the future.

GCPB invited applications for Feasibility Study Projects in the summer of 2022 and the first grant has been awarded. For more information, visit Green Connected Britain