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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the UKERC Energy Data Centre?

Originally known as the UKERC Research Atlas, the system was originally set up in 2005 as part of the UK Energy Research Centre (or UKERC) to create a hub for information on all publically funded energy research happening in the UK. The basic information is derived from the various data sources provided by such bodies as the Research Councils, but this information is then tagged by extra dimensions:

  • Energy category, broadly based on the International Energy Agency classification ( )
  • Type of R&D funding
  • Science and technology description, based on the UNESCO (Frascati) and the RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) schemes
  • Description of the cross-cutting inter-disciplinarily of the project.

The UKERC Energy Data Centre is developed and maintained for UKERC by the Energy Research Unit at STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
What can you do with it?
The UKERC Energy Data Centre allows easy searching of our large database of publically funded energy related projects. A keyword can simply be entered and any projects relating to it will be found, or a ‘advanced’ search can be used to find more specific projects.

As well as searching, Roadmap and Landscape documents are provided for people looking into the current state of energy research nationally (More can be read about these on the Landscape and Roadmap pages which can be found under Components).

There is also access to a large amount of datasets, both data that we curate, and those held by other bodies

Finally, the system allows for quick and easy searching of the directory of UKERC publications
What does it consist of?
On this site you can find several useful resources for information.

The system consists of seven components, all originally distinct but now being brought together:

  • Data Catalogue - our collection of energy-related datasets; some are curated here at the Energy Data Centre, but there are links to others held elsewhere
  • Project Catalogue - this contains information about publically funded research in energy derived from a range of funding bodies. This can be searched, and once searched, filters can be applied to narrow down your search for more targeted results. It was formerly known as the Research Register.
  • Landscapes (“Where we are today”) - these provide a comprehensive account of competencies and publicly funded activities in energy research, and development and demonstration in the UK.
  • Roadmaps (“Where we should be going”) - a collection of national and international documents summarizing the problems to be overcome before new technologies can be commercially viable
  • ETI Publications - these are the publically accessible outputs of the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) - Journal Articles, Books, Book Chapters, Conference Papers, ETI Publications (working papers and reports), Presentations, and Calls for proposals.
  • UKERC Publications - these are publications published by UKERC, or produced as a result of UKERC’s activities. These can be searched for specific titles, or a category/research theme can be chosen to search through
  • Visualizations - a collection of visual tools for understanding large datasets
What are the conditions of use?
Information contained in the UKERC Energy Data Centre may be freely used subject to acknowledgment of source. Datasets may have extra restrictions and requirements – these are detailed in their descriptions. Your use of information provided by the Science and Technology Facilities Council and UKERC is at your own risk. Please read any warnings given about the limitations of the information. The Science and Technology Facilities Council and UKERC give no warranty as to the quality or accuracy of the information or its suitability for any use (see Disclaimer)
Components: Scoped Search
The Simple Search functionality can be used as quick method of searching for data related to a keyword. It can also be used if you have the name, or Grant Reference Number, of particular project in mind so you can quickly locate it rather than looking through a list of projects on the same topic.

Single keywords can be used, or phrases, which will be searched for literally - no Boolean search facility is available i.e. Wind and rain will look for that phrase rather than for records containing both wind and rain. Boolean searching is available in the Custom Search (Advanced Search option).

The results can then be filtered by Energy Category, Funding Source, Region and Science/Technology sector; further keywords can also be used.

Results are classified by six of the system components: Data Catalogue, Projects Catalogue, Landscapes, ETI Publications, UKERC Publications and Roadmaps.
Components: Advanced Search
The Advanced Search functionality provides a more detailed method of searching our datasets, such as the ability to search for projects held by a specific investigator or organisation, energy category, scientific discipline or projects done for a certain reason. You can also use it retrieve an organised summary of a search, such as a summary of projects done by funding source, with drill-down to lower levels

The current options in the Advanced Search apply to the Projects Catalogue and the Landscape components of the Energy Data Centre
Components: Data Catalogue
The Data Catalogue (formerly the EDC) is a collection of data sets available to be searched by users. A number of these are curated here at the UKERC Energy Data Centre, and can be accessed through this system. We also link to “Other Dataset Collections” which are useful links recommended by UK energy researchers.

The datasets can be anything thought to be relevant to energy researchers - for example “Population data”, “renewable energy resources maps”, and measured energy consumption of individual houses are all included

Some datasets have restricted access, and you will need to register to use them.

For each dataset, a searchable metadata description filehas been created, along with access to the dataset itself (if curated by us) or a link to its location.

Components: ETI Publications Catalogue
The ETI Publications Catalogue contains the majority of the publically accessible ETI outputs – Journal Articles, Books, Book Chapters, Conference Papers, ETI Publications (working papers and reports), Presentations, and Calls for proposals, each classified by IEA energy category, linked to any relevant ETI project, and dataset in the Data catalogue.
Components: Landscapes
Landscapes provide a comprehensive account of competencies and publicly funded activities in energy research, and development and demonstration in the UK. They cover the main funding streams, research providers, infrastructure, networks and UK participation in international activities. These documents have been commissioned from leading researchers in that field of energy research and are updated approximately biannually. Landscapes are classified by IEA Energy Category.
Components: Projects Catalogue

What is the Projects Catalogue?

The Projects Catalogue is a searchable database of publically-funded energy-related awards and projects, classified by IEA Energy Category, Research Type, Frascati scientific discipline, calendar year and financial year.
The UKERC Projects Catalogue has been prepared by the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. The Catalogue allows online searches to be carried out on a database of UK publicly funded energy Research and Development. Each project in the Catalogue has been assigned a set of energy ‘categories’ thus enabling highly targeted searches to be carried out. Links are provided to project-specific www sites, and to PDFs of project papers and reports, where these have been provided by the lead researcher.
The Projects Catalogue was formerly known as the Research Register

What Information is Currently Held?

The content of the Catalogue will constantly evolve as details of newly funded projects are added. We began with data from EPSRC but this has now been broadened out to many more funding bodies and we continuously seek to add to this.
All information is derived from sources in the public domain - we do not hold secure or confidential information.
Funding Bodies and Data Sources covered

How can I search the Projects Catalogue?

The Project Catalogue is included in the Simple Search by keyword.
Searches specifically targeting the Projects Catalogue form the bulk of the Advanced Search option. This allows searching in two distinct modes:
  • To list all the grants which meet user-defined criteria. A comprehensive menu allows the user to create their own searches, and four simpler searches have been set up to allow the user to list grants held by a given individual, by a specific organisation, in a particular UK region, or in a specific energy topic
  • To create summary tables of the number of, and value of, grants for user-defined categories, funding bodies, or region of the UK. Successive screens allow the user to ‘drill down’ until individual grant records can be displayed. It should be noted that as grants can be held by more than one institution, and deal with more than one energy topic, it is not possible to simply add the number of grants in a column to obtain the total number of grants - this information is therefore provided in a ‘Total’ line at the base of each table. The financial data presented in the tables takes into account whether the grant deals with several different energy categories, and how the funding is distributed between partner organisations (see the comments above).

How Accurate is the Data?

Whilst the Catalogue allows analysis of R&D funding to be carried out, either on a whole project basis, or by Calendar Year, or by Financial Year, it is very important to appreciate that the funding distribution during a grant is assumed to be constant. Subsequently it might be possible to include some limited information about industrial co-funding (subject to us receiving the data from the data providers).

What types of partners are listed?

The lead partner of a project (defined as the person/body who is contracted by the funding body) is called the “Principal Investigator” (PI) - there can only be one PI for each project. Other partners who are known to be receiving funding to carry out the project are known as “Other Investigators” (OIs). Other organisations associated with the project but not in receipt of funding are known as “Industrial Collaborators” (ICs). Individual researchers who have helped propose the project and whose salary costs are being paid using the project’s funding are sometimes known as “Recognised Researchers” (RRs). There is no limit to the number of OIs, ICs, or RRs for a given project.

How is a Project's value split and allocated?

In multi-partner projects (e.g. consortia) the lead partner (PI) receives the total grant and manages its distribution to the other partners (OIs). Therefore a detailed funding breakdown is only shown where this information has been provided by the lead partner. For multi-partner projects, the initial assumption made is that the lead partner (PI) receives 99.99% of the funding and the other partners (OIs) a nominal amount - and the lead partner asked to provide a more accurate breakdown. Any Industrial Collaborators (ICs) and Recognised Researchers (RRs) are shown as receiving 0%. The spend on any grant is assumed to be at a constant rate per month.
Why does the spend for a given energy category not agree exactly with other published data?
The data obtained from the Catalogue should not be compared with that from individual funding bodies, as often different energy categorisation schemes and definitions, and spend rates will have been used.

How is a Project assigned to a Category?

Whilst we take note of any categorisation which has been made by the funding body, we apply a specially designed UKERC categorisation scheme to each project. The category consists of four distinct parts:
  • the energy research activity (based on the IEA classification)
  • the type of R&D funding
  • science and technology description, based on the UNESCO (Frascati) and the RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) schemes
  • description of the cross-cutting inter-disciplinarily of the project.
The detailed definitions of the four parts are given in the Category List . It should be noted that the categorisation scheme allows percentages to be assigned between different topics.

What to do if you think one of your Projects' details are incorrect

Please email us at and we will make the necessary updates to the database - we would particularly welcome PDFs of reports to upload, links to project-specific www sites , and information about the distribution of funding between partners.

What to do if one of your Energy-related Projects is not listed

Please email us at giving details of the funding body, project title and reference number, start date, end date, and value.
Components: Roadmaps
Roadmaps summarize the problems to be overcome before new technologies can be commercially viable.

Many of the roadmaps are characterisations of recent energy technology roadmaps relevant to the UK according to a number of criteria relating to structure, outputs and process. For each roadmap, key forward actions are identified.

Both national and international roadmaps are presented, classified by IEA Energy Category. In addition, in some areas, there are UKERC Synthesis documents providing a broader overview and gap analysis.
Components: UKERC Publications
A collection of documents created at UKERC on many aspects of energy research, these can be searched for specific documents or a specific category/research theme can be chosen to search through if you are looking for a general topic.

UKERC’s activities are organised around a number of themes, and publications produced as a result are classified according to those themes.

The database can be searched by keyword in title, or using a more complex Advanced Search, which presents a large number of classifications to select from, along with sorting options.

You can also browse the entire database of publications.
Components: Visualizations
A collection of visualization tools to enable analysis of large and/or complex datasets