Towards Zero: Read AIRTO’s latest position statement

AIRTO, in collaboration with the UK’s network of Catapult Centres, has been exploring the role of the UK’s Innovation, Research & Technology (IRT) sector in helping us advance towards Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions. Deploying more resources for R&D towards finding solutions has the potential to unlock market opportunities for the UK, both at home and globally. As well as consulting its membership across a broad range of sectors about the measures which they consider to be necessary to achieve Net Zero, AIRTO is looking to consult extensively on this topic with stakeholders in government, industry and other allied organisations. Today, we are releasing ‘TOWARDS ZERO’, to ‘start the conversation’ about the role of the IRT sector in helping the UK to achieve Net Zero; and we plan to consult more widely with allied stakeholders on this topic in the coming months.

Read ‘TOWARDS ZERO’: AIRTO’s Position Statement – NET ZERO November 2020
The UK’s ambitions to increase productivity and prosperity, and the recent legislation to set into law
the requirement to become a Net Zero carbon emitter by 2050, give impetus to the need to ‘ramp up’
innovation to create alternative technologies and to eradicate societal and economic reliance on fossil
fuels across the full range of industrial sectors. This includes energy supply, transport, heating, food
chains, telecommunications, healthcare and consumer goods. Public opinion is shifting, with a growing
recognition of the need for the ‘climate emergency’ to be tackled as an urgent priority alongside
changing public attitudes to consumption; this, combined with the government’s stated intention to
‘build back better’ and ‘build back greener’ in the wake of the Covid‑19 pandemic, drives increasing
urgency in the many calls for greater innovation.

Our position statement sets out FOUR KEY LEVERS and discusses critical interventions which we consider must be applied to advance the target of Net Zero and position IRT sector organisations to play an even more significant role in decarbonisation. We conclude that the government’s approaches to stimulus and support for additional investment in R&D capabilities for achieving Net Zero must be based on…

– Technology and Industrial Strategy
– Driving Expansion in R&D capacity and capabilities
– Building a better energy infrastructure
– Supporting innovation and entrepreneurship for ‘building back greener’ post-pandemic

It is apparent that there is a strong appetite to work together to help the UK achieve Net Zero across
the IRT sector. Shaping effective and co‑ordinated technology and industry strategies for developing
and adopting new solutions, involving all the relevant stakeholder groups including the R&D community, is critical for success. The UK’s IRT sector stands ready to help identify investment priorities for Net Zero and to work with government more strategically. If you would like to join the debate with us in the months ahead, please contact us.