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Future Humber

Future Humber Highlights Region's Leadership in Decarbonisation at Innovation Zero 2024

9 May 2024

Future Humber brought together a 15-strong delegation of partners in London to spotlight the Humber's ambitious vision for industrial decarbonisation at Innovation Zero 2024. The event, now in its second year, attracted thousands of attendees to London Olympia last week (30th of April – 1st of May), driving conversations and actions towards a sustainable, low carbon future. 

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Supported by the UK Government, Innovation Zero is the UK's largest sustainability conference and provides a meeting place for announcements, partnerships, deal-making, and collaborations for those who develop, produce, deploy, and fund low carbon solutions. 

The Humber Pavilion 

At the forefront of London Olympia stood the Humber Pavilion, showcasing representatives and projects from leading partners Air Products, Arup, Aura, Drax, Equinor, Humber Freeport, Meld Energy, Oh Yes! Net Zero, Phillips 66, Prax, px Group, SSE Thermal, Uniper, the University of Hull and VPI. With over 10,000 delegates in attendance, the Pavilion served as a hub for engaging discussions and networking opportunities, allowing attendees to delve into the region's decarbonisation initiatives through interactive displays and engaging conversations with partner representatives. 

Diana Taylor, Managing Director of Future Humber, underscored the significance of collaboration, stating, "As a region, the Humber is at its strongest when it aligns with a single, consistent voice. The decarbonisation agenda is perhaps the greatest example of cross-sector collaboration we have seen to date. The Humber Pavilion at Innovation Zero is a true show of force and statement of intent from our region and serves as an important reminder that the Humber simply has to play a critical role on a national stage to drive the UK to net zero." 

Future Humber was delighted to host a range of visitors to the Pavilion, including Ed Miliband MP, Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, who engaged in discussions with representatives from various partners across the Humber region. 

‘The Engine Room of the UK’  

Launched in 2022 by the Humber Energy Board, the Humber 2030 Vision presents the region’s world-leading decarbonisation opportunity and shares how businesses are already working together, committing to investment of over £15bn to deliver large-scale, critical decarbonisation projects. 

Throughout the congress, speakers from the Humber region delivered thought-provoking talks far and wide, shedding light on innovative projects and strategies driving sustainable development. Speaking on the ‘Case Studies from the Industrial Clusters’ panel, Richard Gwilliam, Chair of the Humber Energy Board, highlighted the region's clear roadmap and plan for decarbonisation, emphasising the power of collaboration in achieving shared goals. 

He said: “The industrial clusters in the UK are the beating heart of our economy, and the Humber is the engine room of the UK. We have a really clear plan on how we can decarbonise the Humber.” 

Other forum panel talks from Innovation Zero included:  

  • Christian Stuckmann, VP Business Development Hydrogen at Uniper, featuring on the ‘Unleashing the Power of Hydrogen’ panel.  
  • Jonathan Briggs, Director of Development & Delivery at VPI, featuring on the ‘Opportunities in Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage’ panel.  
  • Jonathan Oxley, Director of the Humber Cluster at CBI, featuring on the ‘Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy: Marking the Industry’s Scorecard’.  
  • Paul Fursey, UK Lead Executive and General Refinery Manager Humber at Phillips 66, featuring on ‘The UK’s Position in the Renewable Energy Transition’ panel.   
  • Richard Gwilliam, UK BECCS Programme Director at Drax, featuring on the ‘Opportunities in Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage’ panel.  

Events were also delivered within the Humber Pavilion itself, including:  

  • Manish Patel of Air Products shared insights into plans for renewable energy and hydrogen production, while Dan Sadler of Equinor delved into strategies to accelerate hydrogen economy initiatives in the Humber. 
  • Simon Green, Chair of the Humber Freeport, along with industry leaders Chris Smith (MELD Energy) and Patrick Pogue (px Group), unveiled opportunities for investment in the Humber Freeport, presenting the region's attractiveness for innovative projects and partnerships. 
  • Guy Phillips, Team Lead Business Development Hydrogen UK at Uniper, outlined the ambitious Humber H2ub® project, aimed at establishing a large-scale, low carbon hydrogen production facility, further positioning the Humber as a hub for sustainable innovation.  

Collaboration is Essential  

In discussions with partners at the Humber Pavilion, Guy Phillips stressed the vital role of collaboration in the Humber’s decarbonisation efforts, stating, “If we're going to decarbonise the region, collaboration is essential." Phillips highlighted the significance of the Humber region, the UK's largest industrial cluster, as a potential global example for decarbonising industrial clusters. 

Phillips commended Future Humber for facilitating collaboration between the public and private sectors, noting, "Future Humber have been a really good organisation for us to work with because they have helped bring together the public and the private sector to promote the region, which an individual company on its own couldn't achieve." 

Echoing this sentiment, Steve Saunders, Director at Arup, emphasised the importance of unified action, stating, “It’s important that big companies from across the region come together under one voice and one banner." Saunders noted the significant progress made possible by collaborative efforts, showcasing companies working together that wouldn’t have engaged in such dialogue in the past. 

Hannah Richmond, Public Affairs Manager - North at Drax Group, praised Future Humber for its neutral stance in promoting the region's interests, stating, “I think Future Humber have been invaluable and I don’t think anyone else could have acted in a neutral way. They aren’t looking to drive any particular project; they’re looking to promote the region and make sure that the Humber is a thriving economy.” 

Looking Ahead: Innovation Zero 2025 

As Innovation Zero looks towards 2025, Future Humber and its partners remain committed to advancing the region's decarbonisation agenda on the global stage. Through continued collaboration and innovation, they aim to inspire further action and accelerate progress towards a net zero future. 

For more information on Innovation Zero, please visit

Experience the highlights of Innovation Zero 2024