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 05-07 March 2019 / ExCeL, London

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18 Feb 2019

Driving growth with university-business collaborations

Dr David Hutchinson, Impact and Innovation Development Manager at Portsmouth University and Director of the GTS cluster

So what is Clean Growth? The UK government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) states: “Clean growth means growing our national income while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving clean growth, while ensuring an affordable energy supply for businesses and consumers, is at the heart of the UK’s Industrial Strategy. It will increase our productivity, create good jobs, boost earning power for people right across the country, and help protect the climate and environment upon which we and future generations depend.”

This represents a significant shift in opinion within government. For years the majority belief has been that we can either have economic growth or environmental protection, but not both. The Industrial and clean growth strategies from BEIS reflect a significant opportunity to demonstrate that we can have our cake and eat it.

In 2018 three clean growth clusters sought to combine forces and create a national clean growth innovation platform, made possible by a grant from Research England’s Connecting Capabilities Fund. It meant we could take the very best of what we were doing individually to enhance opportunities for business, university and economy.

Clean Growth UK is open to any business developing products or services that may deliver a net-positive impact to economy, society and environment. Members of the community get access to a programme of business innovation and growth support, workshops and webinars that will support clean growth.

Ambitious businesses with the potential to go big can qualify for our innovation, commercialisation and investor readiness programmes, getting access to a support package tailored to their needs.

Bespoke packages can include university-business R&D partnerships, access to a personal business coach, a peer-to-peer business support programme, business masterclasses, investor pitch preparation support and investor introductions.

The network will also run innovation challenges, where large businesses, SMEs and universities come together to tackle industry-specific problems around the themes such as energy, waste and water.

Each day at Futurebuild 2019, the Clean Growth Cafe (organised by Clean Growth UK) will host 16 small businesses who will showcase their clean growth innovations to visitors. Moreover, the Clean Growth Cafe will highlight the work that Clean Growth UK does in supporting SMEs at commercialising their low carbon technologies and through enabling innovative collaboration between SMEs, higher education institutions and large corporates. Additionally, on Wednesday 6th March at Futurebuild, the Clean Growth Cafe will be hosting representatives from the International Cleantech Network (ICN). The ICN connects over 1300 international organisations and promotes internationalisation through matchmaking companies, enabling access to foreign markets via the ICN passport service and identifying and promoting cross-border funding opportunities and challenges that can benefit SMEs.

These are the key elements that differentiate Clean Growth UK, and will bring additional value for members:

  • National focus: By linking regional clean growth networks Clean Growth UK is extending access to emerging technologies and expertise beyond current recognised centres of expertise.
  • Close HEI Relationships: With a strong basis in research and applied academic expertise, Clean Growth UK can leverage national programmes to help reduce time-to-market for clean growth solutions.
  • Close Corporate Relationships: Working closely with big business, both individually and collectively, to help them tackle complex problems of decarbonisation and sustainability.
  • Focused, individual support for clean growth SMEs, delivered through specialised coaching, facilitated peer-to-peer action learning & access to investment funds.

Clean Growth UK is being delivered across the UK through its three regional hubs: The University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform, the University of Portsmouth, in collaboration with Greentech South, and Liverpool John Moores University.

Visit www.clean-growth.uk to find out more.

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