Connected Places Podcast Episode 26: Building the Net Zero Infrastructure of Tomorrow with Nick Chism

The physical and digital infrastructure that connects and powers our towns, cities and transport systems is something we don’t often think about until emergency strikes. Which is why in countries all around the world the COVID pandemic has refocussed our attention on the resilience and adaptability of our infrastructure. Yet ironically, how we design, build and invest in net zero infrastructure is at the heart of the post-pandemic recovery. Even before COVID, the 2020s were set to become the most consequential decade in living memory for infrastructure investment, especially for new, low carbon technologies and the industries of the future as we repivot our economies towards new zero.

In this episode we look at the global investment patterns and infrastructure needs that will shape the coming decade, and the opportunities that digitisation brings in decarbonising our economies and achieving net zero carbon emissions. What might this mean for those larger connectivity projects like ports, airports and critical rail infrastructure? What’s the role of government and industry – where do public and private sector responsibilities lie? Prof. Greg Clark CBE, Chair of the Connected Places Catapult speaks to Nick Chism, an expert in the field of infrastructure investment and delivery.

Nick was Global Chair of Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare at KPMG, where he worked on infrastructure and new technologies in global markets across 120 countries worldwide. He represented KPMG on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the CBI Infrastructure Board, and at the World Economic Forum. 

More recently, he was Chief Business Adviser and Director General of Enterprise at the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy where his portfolio overed business engagement, growth and investment. Nick is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and Executive Chair of IPFA, the global professional association for infrastructure and energy project financing. We’re also very lucky to have Nick on the Board of the Connected Places Catapult.

Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify Listen on Google Podcasts
Show notes:

If you’d like to get in touch with your feedback, comments and suggestions on what you’d like to hear more of on Connected Places, please email: We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

To read and download the Catapult’s Net Zero Places Innovation Brief, which explores a number of new market opportunities in the active travel sector, click here.

Our Connections Cafés are our series of SME innovation support webinars that explore developments and opportunities in the built environment and mobility sectors that enable new levels of physical, digital and social connectedness. Our next café is on the 14th July and will be focussing on knowledge exchange and collaboration between SMEs and Universities. You can register here.

We’re working with the Department for Transport, to help deliver their 2021 Transport Research and Innovation Grants for Zero Emission Flight. The department will be awarding a minimum of 12 funding grants of £50k to organisations doing R&D in this space, and on the 12th July we’re running a webinar that will provide further information, support and guidance to interested businesses You can register here.

To find out more about what we do at the Connected Places Catapult and to hear about the latest news, events and announcements, please sign up to our newsletter!

Follow the show!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Please also take a moment to write a review and rate us so that more people can hear about the podcast and what we do at Connected Places Catapult.

Sign up to our newsletter