Eco-Innovation Cumbria will encourage local businesses to invest in low carbon technologies by showing how their use can increase innovation.
It is hoped that the programme will help businesses develop new products and makets, in turn enhancing the growth of the low carbon and environmental goods sector within Cumbria.
The four year project funded by the European Regional Development Fund is a partnership led by the University of Cumbria with Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire.
Eco-innovation Cumbria can provide support to a variety of projects, including those in environmental technology, water, renewable energy, waste, carbon management, energy storage, food security, micro-energy systems, resource efficiency, district heating schemes, fuel cells, off-grid production, bio-energy, energy from waste and pollution control.
Corinne Watson from Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, which is overseeing the county’s European Structural and Investment Funds explains: “Eco-innovation Cumbria is ideal for businesses which need R&D support, have a new technology idea to develop or are seeking to increase their efficiency.
"It is supporting SMEs to grow capacity and develop new solutions for industry, with a range of short to long term interventions delivered by partner universities.”
University of Cumbria pro vice chancellor Sandra Booth adds: “Businesses working with their local university have a proven competitive advantage in terms of their innovation potential and productivity.
“The University of Cumbria has a significant knowledge base in eco system services and energy efficiency which we are keen to share through our staff and students, working on real world energy and sustainability challenges faced by our business partners.”
The Eco-Innovation Cumbria Project will provide a variety of free workshops and events around Cumbria to explore innovation challenges. It will also develop collaborative research projects between the University partners and SMEs.