The aim of the sandpit events was for participants to network and leverage their experience and expertise to design collaborative proof-of-concept studies and community engagement workshops. Evidence gathered from the studies and workshops will be used to inform recommendations and map a pathway for the implementation of the UKRI Net Zero strategic ambitions within the Digital Research Infrastructure.

Funding of £500k (80% FEC) was available for up to 5 proof-of-concept studies, and £210k (80% FEC) for up to 8 community engagement workshops.


We have currently funded six projects - 5 proof-of-concept studies and 1 workshop series. Detailed information can be found in our ‘Project Partners’ blog post.

Mindmap on top of image of tree canopy. Central text reads 'UKRI Funded Sandpit Projects'. The projects are 'Empowering Stakeholders Workshop series', 'Value and Net Zero Decision-Making', 'Learning from the Big Picture for DRI Transformation', 'Energy-aware heterogeneous computing at scale', 'HPC Job Efficiency & Energy Usage' and 'IRIS Carbon Audit Snapshot'.


There were two sandpit events:

  • Sandpit A from 10am-1pm on the 9th and 11th of May
  • Sandpit B from 10am-1pm on the 23rd and 25th May

Sandpit A focused on community and organisational challenges such as: user facing services, data management, behaviour change, training, proportionality of energy use, who are the winners/losers, and monitoring and driving change.

Sandpit B focused on technical and operational challenges such as: hardware procurement, design and architecture of infrastructure, cloud platforms, consolidation, power management and efficiency, end-of-life, and carbon capture and offsetting.

The sandpits will be online activities, taking place on Zoom.

Successful applicants were invited to collaboratively develop ideas for proposals during the sandpit and to submit outline proposals for the consideration of a panel of experts.

Further details:

The sandpit events are managed by the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA) on behalf of UKRI as part of the UKRI Net Zero Digital Research Infrastructure Scoping project.

For all enquiries, please contact support@ceda.ac.uk and put “Net Zero Sandpit” in the subject line.