News & Events

Keele University hosts first Staffordshire Smart Energy Summit

5 April 2017

Smart Energy Summit - Speakers and Team (400px)

More than 100 people from a range of businesses and organisations attended Keele University on Tuesday (4 April 2017) to participate in Staffordshire’s first Summit dedicated to Smart Energy.

The event featured guest speakers from some of the world’s leading organisations in the energy sectors – Siemens, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and McCamley – as well as a keynote address from Keele University Chancellor and world-renowned writer and environmentalist Jonathon Porritt.

The Summit also showcased the opportunities available to local businesses through the University’s Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) – a new programme that will create a ‘living laboratory’ across the Keele campus and enable organisations to research, develop, test and evaluate new energy technologies and associated services.  By working alongside local businesses, the programme aims to support new innovations that can ultimately improve energy efficiency, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and cut carbon dioxide emissions.

The SEND programme is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme.  It is also receiving funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Speaking about the programme, SEND Director Professor Zhong Fan, said: “This is Europe’s first ‘at scale’ smart energy network demonstrator, and offers the very realistic prospect of establishing Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire businesses at the heart of the global market for smart energy technologies.

“Whether your business is currently in the energy sector or is looking to develop a product that could benefit that market, we would love to hear from you.”

Further information regarding the SEND project can be found online at or by contacting Keele University’s Business Gateway (01782 733001 / 


Pictured above: Guest speakers and members of the SEND project team

(L-R): Professor Zhong Fan (SEND Director, Keele University); Dr Ian Madley (Head of Partnership Development, Keele University); Simon Burgess (Connecting Communities, Siemens UK); Jonathon Porritt (Chancellor, Keele University); Katherine Jackson (Technical Director of Energy, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff); Melanie Watts (SEND Project Manager, Keele University); Professor David Healey (SEND Professor of Practice, Keele University).


About Keele University


Key Stats

Times Good University Guide - University of the Year 2017 - Student Experience

First for Student Satisfaction - NSS 2014, 2015, 2016

First for graduate employment (broad-based universities) - HESA 2016

First for affordability - Marbles 2016

97% of Keele research was classified as world leading, or of international importance - Research Excellence Framework 2014


History and outlook

Nestled in 600 acres of countryside in the heart of the UK, Keele University is the largest campus university in the UK, but has a small and cosmopolitan community of around 10,000 students on its Staffordshire campus. 

Founded more than 60 years ago to meet the demands of a new kind of society, economy and world, Keele University operates on a human scale, providing people with the space to think and plenty to do, with a vast array of clubs, societies, activities and volunteering opportunities.

The innovations and discoveries of Keele academics are key contributors to wider social and global issues.  Keele is a leading world player in many research areas, including primary health care, especially around arthritis and muscular skeletal problems, secondary health care, including stroke medicine, and health related research on insect-borne diseases in the Tropics; in environmental science, astronomy and the life sciences; and in areas of the humanities and social sciences, including music, history and English Literature.



About European Regional Development Fund

The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator project (ref: 32R16P00706) is receiving up to £9million of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. 

The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information, please visit


About the New Keele Deal

The New Keele Deal: a plan for investment in innovation-led local growth

Businesses continue to thrive and spread opportunity for everyone in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent despite cultural and societal challenges.  Although the area is historically one of the poorest areas in Northern Europe, the last five years have seen the local economy grow and strengthen.

The region is now host to some big-name global businesses that have provided large numbers of jobs for the area.  However, just as important for job creation are the tens of thousands of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which call Staffordshire home.

The New Keele Deal is a plan for £70million of investment by Keele University, Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership to exploit the potential of Keele University’s world-leading research and facilities.

Through the New Keele Deal, this investment will help to tackle low productivity and grow a positive culture of innovation and research within the region, delivering a significant number of higher value jobs for the next 20 years, improve local health and healthcare, and inject innovation into the heart of the local business community to allow them to be more globally competitive.

This will all be achieved whilst saving around 4,000 tonnes of CO2 per year - putting our region at the heart of the UK’s transition to a lower carbon economy.

The Keele Deal is a plan that works for everyone.