Expertise at University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is home to a wide range of expertise supporting companies to innovate in sustainability. Below are some examples.

Sustainable chemistry: We investigate new materials for energy applications, developing novel processes for production of sustainable materials, recovery of resources and the fate of natural and pollutant chemical species in the environment. Examples include sustainable plastics and sustainable methods to recover critical resources from waste.

Synthetic Biology, Biotechnology: We use biotechnology to redesign living systems and transform them into biofactories for the more sustainable manufacture of chemicals. Examples of our activities include engineering microbes to produce novel sources of food or recycle valuable waste metal. We also use natural engineered biocatalysts to generate high value substances from sustainable resources.

Agritechnology: We are exploring how plants respond to climate change so we can design more climate-resistant crops for the future, and the development of more environmentally friendly pest control.

AI and data for sustainability: Through the development of cutting-edge data analytics methods and processes, we are helping to build digital infrastructure that will facilitate the transition towards a sustainable future across many sectors.

Satellite data: Satellite observations and associated data products are necessary to estimate carbon in biomass, model carbon cycling and understand ecosystem processes at landscape to global scales.

Environmental Adaptation: By understanding how living systems adapt to climate change we can better predict how they will cope in the future and develop ways to mitigate damage.

Environmental Engineering: We research water treatment and supply; wastewater treatment and management; land remediation; and waste recycling, recovering and disposal.

Energy: Research at the University explores renewable energy technologies, such as wind energy, offshore renewable energy, solar energy and energy storage. There is also research on power systems and energy in buildings and construction.

Net zero beyond electricity: We research technologies beyond electricity that can support reaching ambitious net-zero targets, including heat systems, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, direct air capture, greenhouse gas removal and biochar.

Sustainable processes and materials: We conduct research on designing, processing and characterising materials, including biocomposites, taking into account sustainability.