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Financial Times: Battle hots up for energy centre

Published: August 23 2007 03:00 | Last updated: August 23 2007 03:00

Scotland, north-east England and the Midlands have been selected as the shortlisted bidders vying to win the headquarters of the government’s proposed £1bn Energy Technologies Institute.

The ETI, announced in the last Budget by the then chancellor, Gordon Brown, has aroused keen interest from competing potential locations as it is expected to act as the focus of the UK’s low carbon energy research and development.

Bringing together government and some of the world’s biggest energy companies, it will aim to help establish Britain as a world leader in non-nuclear, clean energy development, bridging the gap between research and the marketplace.

The government has pledged up to £500m over a minimum 10-year lifetime to the ETI, to match private-sector partners.

So far, BP, E.ON UK, Shell, EDF Energy, Rolls-Royce and Caterpillar have each committed to provide up to £5m a year. A north-west England consortium and Sheffield failed to make the final shortlist announced by the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills.

The three finalist consortia, all of which have strong backing from universities in their areas, will make presentations to government and industry sponsors in London on September 6.

The final decision on the ETI’s location will be announced later next month. Chris Tighe

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

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