As you know, Cleantech South was formed as a result of the Future South Green Growth Grants and Loan Programme, which secured £30m of new investment into the Solent economy. The last 18 months has been challenging, with little financial support for initiatives that seek to grow and develop a low carbon economy.
The good news is that this is finally changing! It has been announced that one of the founding partners of Future South, the University of Portsmouth, is sharing a £3.5m government investment to develop innovative new low carbon products and solutions in industry and strengthen higher education contributions to economic growth and productivity.
In the coming months, we will be putting together a team who will then seek out funding and expertise that will help support those business that need it. The initial programme will be for three years, and will also enable us to retain membership of the international cleantech network. We intend to capitalise on this membership and ensure greater interaction for a members with greentech companies from around the world.
Our team here will operate out of the University of Portsmouth, and work closely with partner teams at Brighton and Liverpool John Moores Universities. Together, we have successfully bid for funds to create Clean Growth UK – a national collaboration building on contributions all three institutions have made to the development of low carbon technologies and services in their regions.
The partners will learn from each other’s work contributing knowledge and expertise to the development of new products and services that promote a low carbon economy.
The universities will scale up their regional successes to create a national platform for business, universities and local government to drive forward Clean Growth – the government’s strategy for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy through the 2020s. The platform will link innovators from small to medium-sized enterprises to university expertise and connect them to large public and private sector organisations.
Dr David Hutchinson, project lead for the University of Portsmouth, said: “I am delighted that we have been successful in securing this funding. It further highlights our significant expertise and will build on the legacy of our previous projects. Clean Growth UK will provide an opportunity to join forces with some of the other clean growth business networks in the UK, creating enduring links between the University knowledge base and over 4000 dynamic and innovative low carbon, environmental businesses.”
We will keep you updated as we develop the new programme, so keep an eye out for more news in the weeks and months to follow.