The Innovation Platform Issue 12

    The twelfth edition of The Innovation Platform explores research and innovation across topics ranging from battery development and the global journey to net zero, to advancements in Space exploration, astrophysics, and much more.

    Hello and welcome to the 12th edition of The Innovation Platform. As we approach the end of 2022, we can reflect on another tumultuous year – one that will not be forgotten by many. In the UK alone, we have witnessed a particularly historical year with three Prime Ministers and the loss of our longest-reigning monarch. Globally, the ongoing war in Ukraine and the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted our economy drastically and this has, in turn, had a major effect on the day-to-day lives of people and businesses.

    This year has highlighted the fragility of supply chains across the globe, particularly within the energy sector, and emphasised the need for urgent action to bridge these gaps and strengthen value chains. This edition’s foreword, provided by Jeff Townsend, Founder of the Critical Minerals Association, focuses on this need and explains why critical minerals are one of the most important commodities to ensure a healthy green economy in the future.

    E-Mobility and battery innovation

    Following Townsend’s comments, our E-Mobility, Battery Materials and Research section is filled with insightful features from a wide range of industry experts, examining the most pressing matters as global demand for electric vehicles and efficient batteries rises to unprecedented levels. Kickstarting this focus, EIT InnoEnergy’s Lluis Molina explains the importance of battery recycling for Europe’s energy transition. We also hear from Tony Harper, Director of the Faraday Battery Challenge, who explains why the UK must build a battery supply chain to support the automotive industry’s transformation to net zero. Examining supply chains further across the globe, we have insights from the likes of Sean De Vries, Executive Director of the Battery Metals Association of Canada, exploring Canada’s future position as a leading battery metals supplier.

    Renewable energy

    Unsurprisingly, this issue’s Energy section is jam-packed with expert opinion and commentary from major players in the energy sector. From hydrogen power to nuclear energy, this section addresses key focus areas of global discussions around the journey to net zero. Felicia Mester, Senior Policy Advisor at Hydrogen Europe, discusses how the association is working with other major organisations, both in Europe and globally, to accelerate the hydrogen economy. We also hear from Dr Scott Hsu, Lead Fusion Coordinator at the U.S. Department of Energy, who outlines recent efforts in the US’ journey to commercialising fusion energy.

    Scientific research

    Whilst many projects and organisations set out to use this year to recover from the delays and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unforeseen circumstances in Ukraine and the surging cost of materials and energy have brought further challenges. This is something that is clear for many projects featured in this issue, including within our Science section. For example, the University of Manchester’s Justin Evans discusses the impact of the pandemic on the UK’s contribution to the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) in the US. We hear about a similar experience from Gaelle Boudoul, Run Coordinator for the CMS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, who details the challenges faced by the CMS team during the ‘Long Shutdown’ period of the LHC and the actions taken to regain pace after the delays during the global lockdowns.

    This is just a snapshot of the extensive and thought-provoking content within the publication. I hope you enjoy the issue and I look forward to seeing you in the new year!

    Georgie Purcell
    The Innovation Platform