The ERA is the first project to be delivered by the ‘Midlands Innovation’ initiative and will help unlock £120m of private sector investment. It will tackle some of the biggest energy challenges facing the UK such as making the best use of available resources and how to produce affordable energy.

Commercial secretary to the Treasury, Lord O’Neill said: ‘Backing innovation and skills is key to helping make the Midlands an Engine for Growth for Britain and this funding will help to drive forward the combined expertise for the leading universities in the region.

‘The chancellor used the Spending Review last year to set out how the government is making significant investments in the Midlands, across transport, energy and culture and this funding is another example of our work to back the region’s strengths.’

Source: New £180m fund to accelerate innovation across the Midlands Engine – LocalGov