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Lord Lieutenant visits ESRI and RICE

12/08/2021

The RICE Project hosted a visit, at ESRI, by HM Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan, Mrs Louise Fleet CStJ, JP and Brian Thorne Deputy Lieutenant.

LtoR: Deputy Lieutenant, Lord Lieutenant and Prof Andrew Barron

In addition to learning about the foundation of ESRI and its challenge-based mission the visit focused on the research, development and implementation efforts by the RICE project, and its USW partners, to facilitate industry decarbonisation and waste reduction.

Prof Barron (RICE PI) and Dr Dunnill (WP4 lead) presented the work-to-date of the RICE project, including the work with a range of SME and Industry in South West and Mid Wales region in addition to all the Local Civil authorities that included council, police, and fire & rescue service. Her Majesty Lord Lieutenant was particularly interested in how the project development has attracted global industry and government from USA, Brunei, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Qatar, Greece, and Africa.


LtoR: Deputy Lieutenant, Lord Lieutenant and Dr Charlie Dunnill

Dr Dunnill discussed the commercial opportunities that the RICE project has enabled for the University spin-out company (and RICE project partner) H2-NRG. Dr Dunnill explained how H2-NRG is set to move towards scaled production of the low-installed and maintenance cost green energy electrolyser, based upon the experience of the Hanson and Vale demonstrator units. The benefits of green hydrogen and the need for a hydrogen transport infrastructure in the UK we discussed.

In addition to, but symbiotic with, the RICE project Dr Alvin Orbaek White presented how waste plastic including medical waste can be recycled into carbon materials for electrical and signal transmission. Again, the focus of the discussion was how ESRI research is being commercially deployed, in the case of Dr Orbaek Whites’ research by another ESRI spin-out, TriTabs, who are building their first commercial demonstrator at the Swansea Bay Studios bringing valued jobs to South Wales.

The visit was also an opportunity for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers to share their research experience, and the Deputy Lieutenant’s engineering background meant that he engaged them in several technical discussions.

The end of the visit was to the ESRI laboratories where Her Majesty Lord Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenant could see first-hand where the ESRI components of the RICE project were initiated.

 
Lord Lieutenant, Deputy Lieutenant and
Prof Andrew Barron
with ESRI researchers

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