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EDF and University of Manchester sign extended R&D collaboration agreement

16 Jan 2013

The University of Manchester has signed a global framework agreement with EDF, the leading electricity producer in Europe.

Paul Spence, Colin Bailey and Bernard Salha
Paul Spence, Colin Bailey and Bernard Salha

The agreement, between EDF R&D, EDF Energy and the University’s Dalton Nuclear Institute, was signed in a joint meeting with Bernard Salha (Senior Vice President of EDF SA, President of EDF Research and Development), Paul Spence (EDF Energy Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs) and Professor Colin Bailey (Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences).

It provides a new framework for strengthening and extending the existing research collaborations between EDF R&D, EDF Energy and The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute.

The research partnership between the various divisions of EDF (EDF R&D, EDF Energy Nuclear Generation and EDF Energy R&D UK Centre), and The University of Manchester has developed over a number of years, incorporating a long term collaboration in the field of computational fluid dynamics, extended later to research and development within the University’s Materials Performance Centre and also the establishment of the Modelling and Simulation Centre in 2011, broadening the collaboration in solid mechanics with the joint appointment of a Professor and a Research Fellow.

The signing of this new collaboration agreement brings these strands together and demonstrates both parties’ commitment to strengthen these activities and to extend R&D into related areas over the long-term.

EDF priorities cover electricity generation, electricity demand and the energy system, with R&D focusing on safety, performance, long-term operation of power plants and environmental issues. Research covered under the new agreement will be managed through the Dalton Nuclear Institute, with R&D carried out within the Schools of Materials, Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering and Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Research will continue to focus on nuclear energy, concentrating on the extension of the life of existing nuclear power stations and the building of new reactors for the future, but will broaden into other areas of energy such as renewables.

To reinforce collaboration at strategic level two EDF Energy R&D UK Centre employees have been currently seconded into the University to facilitate the sharing of scientific knowledge and technical expertise to meet industrial needs. The agreement also includes PhD scholarships, post-doctoral research associates and internships.

Following the signing of the agreement, Professor Colin Bailey, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences said: “We greatly value our interactions with industry and have enjoyed our outstanding collaboration with EDF in the nuclear field. We look forward to building on this success and extending the collaboration into other areas of energy”.

Professor Andrew Sherry, Director of the University’s Dalton Nuclear Institute said: “Nuclear R&D in the UK is becoming increasingly important to address low carbon energy needs. The outstanding collaboration with EDF will strengthen the R&D already taking place to underpin plant life management and nuclear skills development”.

Bernard Salha, Senior Vice President of EDF SA and President of EDF Research and Development, said: “The signature of the Framework Agreement between EDF SA, EDF Energy and The University of Manchester is a great opportunity to develop the collaboration on ongoing fields but also to extend it to new topics of common interest.”

In addition, Paul Spence, EDF Energy Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs, commented: “Both EDF Energy and The University of Manchester are leaders in their field. We are pleased to work with them. This agreement is the foundation for our collaboration. We look forward to exploring all the ways to take full advantage of this key partnership.”

Notes for editors

Picture caption: L-R, front row: Paul Spence, EDF Energy Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs; Colin Bailey, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences and Bernard Salha, Senior Vice-President of EDF SA, President of EDF Research and Development, at the signing event

The University of Manchester, a member of the Russell Group, is the most popular university in the UK. It has 22 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance. According to the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, The University of Manchester is now one of the country’s major research universities, rated third in the UK in terms of ‘research power’.  www.manchester.ac.uk

Winner of the 2011 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its world-leading applied nuclear research, higher learning and social engagement, the Dalton Nuclear Institute provides the focus for Manchester’s capabilities across the full range of nuclear science, engineering, policy and business. The Dalton Nuclear Institute has a number of research centres including the Materials Performance Centre and the Modelling and Simulation Centre. www.manchester.ac.uk/dalton

The EDF Group, one of the leaders in the European energy market, is an integrated energy company active in all areas of the business: generation, transmission, distribution, energy supply and trading. The Group is the leading electricity producer in Europe. In France, it has mainly nuclear and hydraulic production facilities where 96.5% of the electricity output is CO2-free.  www.edf.com