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Bath Beacons

Our multidisciplinary Beacons empower our research community to tackle major global challenges by building consortia for large-scale funding.

Building on our research strengths, the Bath Beacons initiative aligns with national priorities. Our researchers are finding new approaches to public health, reducing the impact of climate change, and finding new ways for technology to enhance human performance.

The Bath Beacons Steering Group has identified five Beacons for the one-year pilot and two early-career researcher leads have been supported to develop towards a future Beacon.

Future fuels

Building research capacity, facilities, and expertise across the University in the production, storage, distribution and end use of hydrogen and hydrogen carriers.

Graphic depicting elements of the hydrogen economy

This Beacon focuses on hydrogen and hydrogen carriers such as ammonia in their role as future fuels. The primary challenges this Beacon seeks to address involve the production, storage, distribution and end-use of these zero-carbon fuels.

In establishing the University of Bath as a multi-disciplinary hub of research excellence, impact and stakeholder engagement in future fuels, this Beacon aligns especially with the UK’s 2050 Net Zero target and with the recent Hydrogen and Net Zero Government Strategies.

Living well now and by 2050

Improving social and environmental justice by engendering new and inclusive practices of living well.

A graphic depicting interconnected elements in a green city

This Beacon explores:

  • how knowledge, values and skills can be harnessed to develop better (more ecological, biodiverse and ethically relational) environmental futures
  • what living well within environmental limits will look like, be like and feel like
  • how government, industry, third sector, educational organisations and grass-roots communities can be encouraged and enabled to make the transitions required

Aligned to the current Climate Action Framework implemented at the University of Bath, the Beacon seeks to develop ‘living well’ as a holistic conceptual framework for human and planetary wellbeing.

21st century public health

Creating ground-breaking approaches to public health and sustainability for the challenges of the 21st Century.

A image showing a heartbeat graphic over a photo of a doctor's stethoscope and notes

This Beacon works across all three University research themes of Health and Wellbeing, Sustainability, and Digital, and will consider research questions including:

  • how do we achieve health-enhancing rather than health-harming policy?
  • how do we tackle corporate power?
  • how can we effectively internalise externalities?
  • what national and global governance mechanisms are needed to drive positive change?
  • how should science best be funded and structured to deliver an evidence base fit for purpose?

Augmented human

Technologically assisting and augmenting the human in multiple ways and settings.

A head shot of a man wearing a motion capture rig, with sticky reference dots on his face

This Beacon is focused on the augmentation of body and mind, aiding both in a variety of settings. These include:

  • assistive technology for overcoming disabilities
  • enhancing performance in daily tasks
  • enhancing performance in extreme conditions from elite sport to emergency services
  • early prediction and diagnoses of conditions like blood cancer and Alzheimer’s disease

Sustainable and automated transport research

Solving key problems facing sustainable transportation systems.

A close up of a car-charging port, with a hand poised to plug the charging cable in from the left

This Beacon’s initial focus is on road transportation and autonomous vehicles, with the aim to expand this to rail, maritime, and air travel.

With strong links to the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) and other existing research groups the Beacon aims to build a multi-disciplinary research community able to tackle technical and non-technical challenges around making travel more sustainable.

Developing Beacons

Two early-career researchers have been supported to develop their vision towards a future Beacon.

Banks of computers

Value of data

The Value of data developing Beacon aims to build a world-leading research institute that focuses on the cultural, economic and psychological value of new and emerging forms of data, with the collective aim to deliver positive social, economic or industrial impacts.

An offshore windfarm

Zero carbon offshore power

The Zero carbon offshore developing Bath Beacon aims to address challenges associated with renewable technologies, generating a future-focused design philosophy that encompasses the technical performance and environmental impacts of renewable technologies, particularly wind, wave and tidal power.

It will do this by bringing together experts in the technical, financial and environmental aspects of renewable power from across the Faculty of Engineering anf Design, as well as partners in the GW4 Climate Alliance and relevant Supergen Hubs.


If you have any questions about Bath Beacons, please contact us.