People Places Planet

Making ideas work for a better world

Discover the University of Edinburgh’s world leading circular economy expertise which will help you develop innovative ideas to deliver solutions to the global climate crisis, one of the world’s biggest challenges.

Learn about our activities in and around COP26, learn about our experts and discover the ways we’ve been working in collaboration to improve the environment for all our communities.

Edinburgh Innovations is the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service. We bring University of Edinburgh research to industry, working to identify ideas with value, and facilitating the process of bringing them to life in real-world applications.

We make ideas work for a better world

Academic expertise helps government on the journey to net-zero

Two recent University of Edinburgh research projects have helped inform government policy towards their ambitious 2045 net-zero targets at both a local and Scottish national level.

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deliver solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.

Discover Our People

Discover the University of Edinburgh’s innovative capability led by an exceptional team.

Professor Jamie Cross

Jamie is a Professor of Social and Economic Anthropology, specialising in the study of energy, technology, and economy in the global south. His research also involves the production of physical and digital objects that probe the material politics of our energy futures through collaborations with visual artists, filmmakers, and designers. Read more.

Professor Louise Horsfall

Professor Louise Horsfall, Chair of Sustainable Biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh, is interested in applying synthetic biology to improve the sustainability of biological processes and products, in particular how these areas might make manufacturing more resource-efficient and help move us towards a more circular economy. Read more.

Professor Jason Love

Jason Love is Professor of Molecular Inorganic Chemistry at the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. He has diverse research interests centred on chemical sustainability that includes advancing metal resource circularity through the study of extraction and recycling. Read more.

Professor Joyce Tait

Joyce is Co-Director of the Innogen Institute and works in the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, both at the University of Edinburgh. She is currently working on the circular economy and the bioeconomy, responsible innovation and regulartion/innovation interactions. Read more.

Professor Alan Raybould

Alan is Professor of Innovation in Life Sciences. His research focuses on the use of science to inform decision-making, particularly improving the regulation of new agriculture and food products. He is a member of the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) that provides statutory advice to the UK Government on the potential risks to human health and the environment from the release and marketing of genetically modified organisms and non-native species used for biological control.

Dr Katriona Edlmann

Katriona Edlmann is the Chancellor’s Fellow in Energy within the School of Geosciences. Katriona has 25 years’ experience researching the secure and sustainable utilisation of the subsurface for low-carbon energy applications including carbon capture and storage, hydrogen energy storage and geothermal operations. Read more.

Professor Sean Smith

Sean is Professor of Future Construction and Director of the Centre for Future Infrastructure, based at the University of Edinburgh. He has held previous posts leading in sustainable construction, construction innovation and building performance and has managed major projects involving low carbon construction technologies. His research impacts have resulted in multiple awards due to the positive impact on sustainability, low carbon construction growth and society.

Discover our activities at COP 26

Discover the University of Edinburgh’s world-leading sustainability expertise which will help you develop your ideas into new solutions that help to address the global climate crisis and deliver long-term sustainability for your business.

COP26 Innovation Showcase Ramshorn Theatre

Throughout COP26, the University of Edinburgh showcased a number of images to demonstrate innovation. The exhibition showcased innovative ways in which research by UK universities is being applied to tackle climate change and to build a more sustainable future. Here are some of our images:

Alex McIntosh/University of Edinburgh

Trade in Space Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest: Improving our understanding and informing climate action

Cecile Simonis/University of Edinburgh

Measuring biomass with satellite data: Improving our understanding and informing climate action. Read more

Claudia Collesie/University of Edinburgh

When penguins become neighbours © Claudia Colesie 2021: Improving our understanding and informing climate action. Read more

Colin Pulham/University of Edinburgh

Cool crystals for green heat Energy, "As crystals grow from a liquid molten salt, they release valuable stored heat.” Read more

Harry Carstairs/University of Edinburgh

Trees of light: Improving our understanding and informing climate action "Nearly one million points of light make up this rainforest tree, which you see from directly below.” Read more

Ondrej Masek/University of Edinburgh

Fire in different forms has been responsible for most of humanity's CO2 emissions. However, it can also be part of the solution. Read more

Innovation Showcase: Decreasing CO2 in the atmosphere: solutions from technology and nature

Tuesday 9 November - event recording coming soon.

This debate explored two very different paths towards achieving Net Zero – nature or technology.

The debate was chaired by Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Champion and Director, UK Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC), Heriot-Watt University and featured:

  • Professor Stuart Haszeldine, Professor of Carbon Capture & Storage, School of GeoSciences, the University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Pete Smith, Professor of Soils & Global Change and Science Director of Scotland’s ClimateXChange from the University of Aberdeen
  • NbS developer Jeremy Leggett
  • Kirsty Lynch from Pale Blue Dot Energy Limited Scotland’s Acorn Project


FASTBLADE is an industry-academic partnership between Babcock International Group (Babcock) and the University of Edinburgh. FASTBLADE will initially be used for lifetime fatigue testing of renewable energy tidal turbine blades, using pioneering technology which will be the first of its kind in the world.

The Edinburgh Earth Initiative

The Edinburgh Earth Initiative - our response to the climate crisis. Drawing on strengths from across the University and working with our global partners, we will deliver ambitious solutions for a future that effectively manages and mitigates the effects of climate change.

Contact Us

John Jeffrey

Head of Business Development at the College of Science and Engineering