From its inception, the UK CCS Research Centre (UKCCSRC) has intended to forge strong international links with other CCS organisations across the world. As such, a key strategic priority for the Centre is to enable effective communication links and networks with CCS researchers and implementers, regulators, policy makers and other stakeholders in the UK and worldwide.
The Centre recognises the importance of overseas collaboration to share the cost and risk of research, and to gain access to facilities that may not be available in the UK. International collaboration also provides personal development opportunities for members, through participation in overseas activities, at all stages of career development.
UKCCSRC’s approach to international collaboration is set out in the International Engagement Strategy, published in 2014. Three complementary (and sometimes overlapping) routes are used to deliver the UKCCSRC International Engagement vision; targeted engagement activities; relationship building; and international organisations and events.
Targeted Engagement Activities take advantage of overseas collaborations to progress research and other UKCCSRC objectives. These activities may be initiated by the UKCCSRC and its members, based on perceived UK needs and overseas capabilities, or be initiated by other parties from overseas.
Three key scientific strategic objectives for Targeted Engagement Activities are to:
- link to relevant large-scale CCS activities (which are currently very rare globally);
- gain access to useful research facilities (at all scales); or
- gain access to scientific data that are not available in the UK.
Where relevant, funding-related opportunities, to support Targeted Engagement Activities, are advertised to all UKCCSRC members and include:
- The ECR Internationl Exchange Fund, which provides a funding mechanism to support and strengthen both emerging and existing collaborations for UKCCSRC Early Career Researcher (ECR) members.
- The International Research Collaboration Fund, which provides funding for Academic Members of the Centre to collaborate with other CCS researchers around the world.
The effectiveness of the UKCCSRC’s coordination and profile raising activities to date is best evidenced by the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) it has already negotiated with a range of leading international partners.
The MoUs provide a framework to support linking UK researchers with the best of overseas CCS research, development and deployment activities. They also facilitate capacity development of both academic researchers and Early Career Researchers (ECRs) via ongoing dialogue and interactions with other leading research organisation working on CCS, including securing access to world leading overseas CCS research facilities for UK based researchers.
The UKCCSRC now has six MoUs in place with the following leading CCS organisations: SaskPower (Canada), CMC Research Institutes (Canada), CO2CRC (Austrailia), CATO (Netherlands) and RCN-CCUS (USA).
The UKCCSRC has also signed an MoU jointly with SCCS, GEDI and CFEDI to help set up the Guangdong CCUS Centre in China.
Further details on UKCCSRC’s engagement with its MoU partners, and other priority countries (as set out in the International Engagment Strategy), can be found by clicking in the placemarkers on the map below.
Links to International Organisations and Events
Links to major international organisations, including through attending and organising meetings and workshops, is an important way to link to major international organisations. Benefits of such meetings include state-of-the-art surveys, dissemination of research and/or promoting awareness of the UKCCSRC, networking in support of Targeted Engagement Activities and Relationship Building, and/or supporting wider UK initiatives. With many key stakeholders in one place, these types of events can be a cost-effective way to communication and network with multiple international partners.
Key international organisations that UKCCSRC has collaborated with to date include: the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), the Global CCS Institute (GCCSI), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the IEA Greenhouse Gas Programme (IEAGHG) and the ISO (specifically TC 265 Carbon dioxide capture, transportation, and geological storage). The Centre also engaged with UN bodies (principally UNECE) in the lead up to COP21 in Paris, December 2015.
Linking with International CCS Research Projects
The Centre’s approach to international collaboration, as outlined above, has resulted in UK researchers being linked with the best of overseas CCS activities and facilities, to accelerate the development of UK capacity and allow resources to be concentrated where they are most needed.
The Centre has worked extensively with Aquistore to enable UK researchers to gain no-charge access to the research site, including one UKCCSRC project 3D mapping of large-scale subsurface flow pathways using nanoseismic monitoring and one project funded under the 2012 ‘Research Challenges in Geological Storage for Carbon Capture and Storage’ EPSRC Call. The Centre has also developed strong links with CO2CRC in Australia which manages the Otway injection site. This has facilitated another UKCCSRC Quantifying Residual and Dissolution Trapping in the CO2CRC Otway Injection Site. Further examples of UKCCSRC’s international research collaboration can be found by clicking on the links in the map below.
Joining the UKCCSRC Network
Approximately 20% of the Centre’s 1300 members are from outside the UK, including members at governmental organisations based in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Norway, Spain and Taiwan. If you are not based in the UK and interested in joining the UK CCS network, you can sign up here.