Fund launches to support net zero projects

By Tim Aldred

22 Feb 2022

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A new green innovation fund has been launched to help Lancashire businesses, charities and social enterprises to deliver sustainable products, processes or services.

The £400,000 grant scheme is managed by Eco-I North West (NW) and offers up to 60 per cent funding towards green and net zero projects worth £25,000.

Eco-I North West is a £14m research and development programme launched two years ago to give SMEs access to a regional knowledge base, cutting-edge research facilities. Six of the region’s leading universities including UCLan and Lancaster University are involved.

So far, more than 100 enterprises, including 36 in Lancashire, have tapped into these resources to test their ideas which could help solve global challenges such as water supply and quality, waste, energy, resource efficiency, natural capital, air quality, and food security.

These new grants will accelerate these low carbon innovations from research to commercialisation by match funding prototypes, pilots and demonstration systems.

Andy Pickard, manager of the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, which delivers the Eco-I NW programme, said: “Eco-I NW opens up such a huge academic regional resource to SMEs. It offers the opportunity for the North West to create an ecosystem which accelerates our transition to a low carbon economy. This is a scheme which should allow businesses to access grants quickly and try new things.

“I would encourage leaders of SME enterprises in the North West to start a conversation with us about how Eco-I NW could help to reduce costs and their carbon footprint, improve performance, and future proof their business in a low carbon future.”

Eco-I NW aims to work with more than 300 SMEs, supporting the development of 135 new innovative solutions which will save 3,850 tonnes of CO2.

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