Low carbon business support to extend across North West

The Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory (LCEI) has launched a new £14 million initiative – the Eco-I North West programme – to support businesses in the North West develop low carbon innovation and skills, and to support ‘green’ economic growth.

With funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Eco-I North West will work with SMEs from any sector across the North West region to create innovative low carbon technologies, products, processes and services and develop these through collaborative partnerships with five North West Universities.

The Eco-I North West involves the University of Cumbria and Manchester Metropolitan University in addition to the three partner universities in the LCEI; the University of Liverpool, the University of Lancaster and Liverpool John Moores University.

It builds on the success of the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation and LCEI which to date have supported more than 700 businesses, created more than 300 jobs and helped reduce carbon emissions through the development of more than 120 new low carbon products and services.

Dr Matt Fulton, Director of the LCEI based in the University of Liverpool’s School of Environmental Sciences, said “It is exciting to have so many opportunities to drive low carbon research throughout all sectors using the expertise and facilities available at the University of Liverpool, and at our five partner universities.

“The projects are a great example of our aim to become an integrated innovation ecosystem drawing on skills from industry and academia toward local and regional low carbon growth ambitions.”

Professor Andy Plater, academic lead for the Eco-I North West project at the University of Liverpool, added: “Eco-innovation is at the heart of our engagement with small businesses in Liverpool City Region and across the North West in the area of clean growth.

“This appeals to a broad range of businesses as it aligns energy and resource efficiency, reduced carbon emissions and waste with saving the planet, its ecosystems and its people. It attracts innovators who really want to make a difference in the world, and thus like-minded students and staff who have sustainability at the heart of their values.”

LCEI is currently recruiting SMEs and academics for 23 funded collaborative PhD projects within Liverpool City Region and across the North West. Any businesses with potential low carbon industrial projects should contact Rob Capleton on r.capleton@liverpool.ac.uk

Eco-I North West will operate to deliver low carbon innovation to all sectors, but in particular will focus in the thematic areas of: Environmental Industries; Technology and Services; Future Energy Systems and Advanced Manufacturing; as well as Materials and Chemistry.

The new programme builds on a North West Science and Innovation Audit Report which identified the strong potential for significant growth opportunities for businesses across all sectors resulting from a low carbon economy driven by the North West.

This project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and by the five University partners.