Lancashire businesses urged to profit from low carbon innovation event

Lancashire businesses are among 80 developing low carbon innovations in partnership with leading universities, via a first of its kind project.

By Tim Gavell
Friday, 15th October 2021, 4:55 am

They are part of Eco-I North West, a £14m research and development programme to enable a transition to a low carbon economy in all sectors.

The project offers businesses the opportunity to access the extensive knowledge base, cutting-edge research facilities, and skills of six of the region’s leading universities – Lancaster, Central Lancashire, Cumbria, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores and Manchester Metropolitan.

Companies can find out more in a free-to-access webinar, Disruption, Innovation, Transformation. Climate Change: It’s Now or Never, on Wednesday, October 20.

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Douglas Booker of Lancaster-based National Air Quality Testing Services

The two-hour summit, chaired by Prof Jess Davies, Director of the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University, starts at 10am, and is aimed at SMEs, researchers, and academics, interested in the net zero carbon agenda.

Kicking off the online event will be keynote speaker Duncan Pollard, former VP for sustainability at Nestle and director of conservation practice and policy at WWF, who will share his expertise on how to integrate, engage, and operationalise sustainable practice in business.

Then following three themed break-out sessions, businesses will also learn about the funding opportunities and innovation support to enable them to pilot, prototype and demonstrate new technologies.

Speaking ahead of the event, Duncan Pollard said: “The business community has the power to influence the effects of climate change, through its operations, supply chains, and offering more sustainable choices to customers. But for positive change we must disrupt and challenge the ‘business as usual’ mind set.

Keynote speaker Duncan Pollard

“Sustainability must be at the heart of the post-Covid recovery, not just an add-on. Any business that doesn’t heed the sustainability concerns of staff, customers and investors risks being left behind."

Prof Jess Davies said: "Eco-I NW is the first project of its kind to open up such a huge academic regional resource to businesses and offers the opportunity for the North West to take the lead and benefit from the transition to a low carbon economy.

“I would encourage leaders of small and medium sized enterprises in the North West to sign up to the event and come along to understand how Eco-I NW could help them, and the planet.”

Among the Lancashire businesses in the project are Kerax (Chorley), CO2 Extraction (Morecambe), Silverwoods Waste Management, (Altham), and National Air Quality Testing Services (Lancaster).

Douglas Booker, co-founder and chief executive of National Air Quality Testing Services, said: "Air pollution is the world's largest environmental health risk according to the World Health Organisation.

"We are delighted to be working with Eco-I North West and Lancaster University to design and test new networks of sensors to manage these equally important goals of energy efficiency and indoor air quality."

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