Decarbonising the UK’s Industry: A Path to Net Zero

Decarbonising the UK’s Industry: A Path to Net Zero
Sponsored by UKRI
Central to the vision for a net-zero future are the ambitious plans of the UKRI’s Industrial Decarbonisation challenge that will invest in the development of low-carbon technologies to increase the competitiveness of industry and contribute to the UK’s drive for clean growth. It will reduce the carbon footprint of heavy and energy intensive industries in the UK, such as iron and steel, cement, refining and chemicals.
The £170 million investment by UKRI, matched by £261 million from industry, aims to establish the world’s first net zero industrial clusters by 2040, largely through carbon capture, utilisation and storage and by establishing hydrogen networks.
Today’s session will bring together the six IDC Cluster Plan projects, each of which is developing a blueprint to achieve net-zero emissions in an industrial cluster. The session will explore their plans and discuss the roadmap ahead.
Chair: Bryony Livesey, Challenge Director- ISCF Industrial Decarbonisation, UKRI
● Emma Degg, Chief Executive, North West Business Leadership Team
● Dr Chris Williams, Head of Industrial Decarbonisation, Wales
● Katie Hedges, Head of Low Carbon Strategy, CATCH, Humber
● Gareth Fletcher, Technology Manager, Tees Valley Combined Authority
● Mike Smith, Chief Executive, NECCUS


Emma Degg
Chief Executive
North West Business Leadership Team

Emma Degg is the Chief Executive of the North West Business Leadership Team that brings together leaders of national and international businesses with substantial commitments and interests in the North West of England.  Emma has spent her career focussed upon bringing together business leaders and policy makers to make a tangible difference. She serves on the UK2070 independent House of Lords Commission led by Sir Bob Kerslake and is Board Member of Made Smarter and Net Zero North West and a Trustee of ‘We Mind the Gap’.

Dr Bryony Livesey
ISCF Director
Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge

Bryony leads the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC), which forms part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).  IDC is a £170m programme with £261m match funding from industry, designed to deploy low carbon technologies and enabling infrastructure in heavily industrialised regions of the UK.

Bryony was previously Head of Technology at Costain, with responsibility for the identification and development of new technology. She was a member of BEIS’ CCUS Cost Challenge Task Force, a Director of the CCSA (where she co-chaired the Technical Working Group) and chairs the Independent Advisory Panel for the UKCCSRC.

Prior to Costain, she was head of the R&D centre for Doosan Babcock, where she established their global R&D Centre, focussing on clean energy. Bryony previously worked for AEA Technology, leading technology and innovation in senior management roles both in the UK and internationally, including four years as President of a Joint Venture company in Tokyo.

Mike Smith

Mike Smith is the CEO of NECCUS, the Scottish alliance for Industrial Decarbonisation with a focus on Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) and Hydrogen. NECCUS has over 50 participating organisations across industry, academia, and development agencies. NECCUS is facilitating the development of the industrial scale CCUS and Hydrogen projects in Scotland, through advocacy, engagement, communication, and education. Supporting an effective transition to Net Zero through the deployment of CCUS, the production and use of hydrogen, and promoting clean industrial growth zones across the UK.

Mike has extensive leadership experience in the Energy sector. He has recently held senior leadership roles at INEOS and Orsted, with exposure to Oil & Gas and the Renewable industry. During over 10 years at Orsted, one of the world’s leading green companies and largest offshore wind developers, he participated in the journey of that company from a coal-fired energy provider and oil & gas producer to a leader in onshore / offshore windfarms and bioenergy.

Katie Hedges 
Head of Low Carbon Strategy
CATCH, Humber



Working for CATCH since its inception in 1999, Katie has been instrumental in leading cluster engagement, developing and managing CATCH’s suite of networks and grant funded programmes. Most recently securing £1.7million Innovate UK funding to develop the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan – in partnership with the Humber LEP and 8 industrial partners – a comprehensive plan for decarbonisation in the region, which will show how the Humber cluster can achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040. With a Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Bath, Katie has lived and worked in the Humber region for over 20 years

Gareth Fletcher
Technology Manager
Tees Valley Combined Authority

Gareth combines the roles of Technology Manager for the Tees Valley Combined Authority with Business and Collaborative Program Development for TWI. A professional metallurgist and chartered engineer, he has strong interests and currently a very active role in the decarbonisation of Industry, which is combined with extensive experience in driving innovation and collaborative research. With over 35 years industrial experience in both operational and technical roles in the Steel Industry, Gareth then led the collaboration between Tata Steel and CPI which ultimately led to the divestment of the Materials Processing Institute from Tata Steel after which he then moved on to his current and somewhat novel role, with a wide range of responsibilities, relating to the decarbonisation of Industry, across both TWI and TVCA. Gareth holds a BSc in Metallurgy and an MBA from Aston University.

 Dr Chris Williams
Head of Industrial Decarbonisation

Dr Chris Williams is a Fellow of the IMechE and the EMA. Chris has 30 years experience in the steel industry and was seconded into Industry Wales during 2020 to continue the leadership role for the South Wales Industrial Cluster.

All-Energy and Dcarbonise is the UK’s leading and only full supply chain renewables and low carbon energy event for the private and public sector energy end users, developers and investors.


  1. David Ross Carruthers says:

    Why is small hydro-electicity generation treated more harshly for Business Rates than utilities like gas fired, oil fired, and nuclear electricity generation?

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