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Maxwell Centre


We are delighted to announce the launch of Cambridge Zero Demonstrators Laboratory at the Maxwell Centre

Problem and opportunity 

The Climate Emergency demands solutions ready to be delivered promptly and at scale in response to, and matched against, well-defined challenges. Climate change affects everyone, time is running out, and yet few have found ways to engage meaningfully with the issue.

People are the University’s main asset and the source of its success. Driven, motivated and highly skilled teams can stratify and accelerate development of climate solutions, especially when provided with the right environment and sufficient ring-fenced time.

Where to start

Pilot Programme Cohort - for University of Cambridge researchers interested in applying to join the Programme 

Challenge Sourcing - for University of Cambridge academics, researchers and collaborators wanting to propose a challenge idea for the cohorts to explore

To find out about the programme structure - read on below.

About the lab

The CZ Demo Lab is hosted in a newly refurbished laboratory on lower ground floor of the Maxwell Centre. It is neighbouring several cutting edge research labs and shared access experimental facilities. The laboratory space was upgraded in spring 2021 with funds received from Research England World Class Laboratories scheme. The lab provides a flexible and adaptable experimental working space featuring many plug-and-play-ready services, and is fully digitally accessible to allow for remote collaborations and demostration. Researchers working in the Demo Lab will also benefit from access to Maxwell Centre hotdesking, meeting rooms and general access shared laboratories. They will be also supported in seeking access to other shared equipment available within the broader Maxwell Centre community, as required.

Cambridge Zero Demo Lab Programme

Capitalising on the University of Cambridge expertise and network of connections, channelled through the Cambridge Zero and the Maxwell Centre, we will deploy the Demo Lab to accelerate progress towards meeting zero carbon targets.

We will recruit interdisciplinary cohorts of researchers who will commit part of their time over a fixed-term period to work in teams on formulating and tackling challenge-driven “sprintshop” projects

Crucially, a holistic approach will be taken to each challenge, and the Demonstrators Lab project cohort will not be working in isolation: supported by experienced specialist mentors, seeking advice from academic and 3rd party experts relevant to the project focus as well as seeking inputs and iterating ideas with prospective delivery partners and early adopters of the proposed solutions. The teams will benefit from interactions with facilitators within the Cambridge Zero, Maxwell Centre, Energy @ Cambridge IRC, Global Challenges Initiative and the Knowledge Exchange Network.

Initial funding we have secured from the EPSRC IAA Adventurous Impact Grant will enable a cohort of 10 researchers (aiming at PDRAs, but academic staff is welcome too) to work part time over a period 3 months' on the first set of projects. To find out about eligibility, available funding and how to apply please visit the Pilot Programme Cohort page. 

If you have challenge ideas you would like to put forward for Cambridge Zero Demo Lab consideration please visit the Sourcing Challenges page.

Partnerships and collaborations

The Demonstrator Lab welcomes new partnerships. We are interested to hear from individuals and organisations offering access to expertise, equipment, in-kind support or other resources that may help us jointly accelerate zero carbon solutions. We would also welcome philathropic support, to enable us to carry on with momentum, but also to scale up and amplify the impact of our work.

If you are interested in supporting or getting involved in the Cambridge Zero Demo Lab activities please contact Dr Aga Iwasiewicz-Wabnig in the first instance on