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Live Labs 2 blog - a sneak peek into the Live Labs 2 Expo 2024

We have an extra blog this month from Hannah Bartram, ADEPT's Chief Executive Officer, who talks about plans for the forthcoming Live Labs 2 Expo event. 

One of the most important events in the Live Labs 2 calendar is the annual Expo event, which is designed to provide an update on all elements of the programme to date. The free event will lift the lid on the programme, featuring all seven of the Live Labs 2 projects.

It will demonstrate the innovation, services and technologies work developed to support the decarbonisation of local highways infrastructure and assets, looking at work currently in development and setting out priorities for the years ahead. Delegates will be able to meet the project teams and their partners drawn from across the public and private sector, academia and SMEs.

Timed to celebrate the end of the first year of the Live Labs 2 programme, the Expo will explore cutting-edge technologies, offering a chance to engage with industry leaders and experts to drive collaboration. 

Over the past year, each of the projects has spent time setting up their projects, baselining and assessing current practices and methodologies to establish a solid foundation for implementing solutions and measuring impact.

Live Labs 2 Expo - beyond highways

The event will include speakers, exhibitors and insights into the development of each project - however, we’re keen to ensure the Expo is different to the ‘run of the mill’ conference. It’s been carefully planned to be innovative and engaging, celebrating the work so far, sharing key learnings and achievements. We will be bringing together innovators, thought leaders and industry experts – literally, through the Live Lab surgery sessions - to explore the latest advancements in sustainable infrastructure.

We will be delving into the heart of sustainability, inviting professionals from the wider highways, transport and environment sectors to join us.

Although the event will appeal to local highways authorities, it’s not just a gathering of highways experts. Decarbonisation can’t be looked at in isolation, so the Expo will be relevant to people outside the highways sector including professionals from the construction industry, environmental specialists, lighting engineers, air quality specialists, carbon economists, low carbon manufacturers, waste and recycling experts, people in biodiversity roles and more. It really is about looking at the bigger picture. 

For example, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s project focuses on decarbonising street lighting. This has clear links into other subjects beyond highways, such as the Dark Skies Initiative, which works to reduce light pollution. Who would have thought of those connections at the beginning of the programme?

Another example is the Greenprint project, which is trialling a new way to manage grass verges, including cutting less frequently and using cuttings to generate energy and reduce the carbon footprint associated with highways maintenance. This has clear connections with biomass and nature recovery, illustrating how innovative approaches in highway management can contribute to broader environmental conservation efforts.

Communication, sharing knowledge and networks  

As with Live Labs 1, the focus is on scalability, applicability and the effective use of resources, but equally invaluable is the emphasis on sharing knowledge. Understanding what hasn’t worked and why is as important to the programme as the successful implementation. 

The Expo is a vital part of the Live Labs 2 programme: it’s one of the key ways we will learn about the development of each project and share our learnings with the wider sector. 

If you are intrigued by the connections between sustainability, innovation, and infrastructure, we would like to invite you to join us at the Live Labs 2 Expo. We can promise a fusion of various sectors, all united in the common goal of shaping a more sustainable future. 

Live Labs 2 Expo 2024 will take place on Wednesday 17th April at the Birmingham Conference and Exhibition Centre.

Book your free place and find out more at

Further information

  • For more information on ADEPT Live Labs 2: Decarbonising Local Roads in the UK, please look at the Live Labs 2 section on the website.


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