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Q&A: What is the Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory support programme?

The Local Growth Hubs Low Carbon Eco-lnnovatory programme supports the growth of businesses in the Liverpool City Region that are working on ideas to reduce CO2 emissions. We spoke to programme manager Paul Dickson to find out more

LGH: What is the Low Carbon Eco-lnnovatory programme?

PD:  The Low Carbon Eco-lnnovatory – or LCEI for short – is a programme of funded support for businesses in the Liverpool City Region that are promoting and developing R&D to increase innovation in and adaption of low carbon goods, processes and services. Funded, in part, by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Liverpool and Lancaster University, it’s aimed at giving SMEs in any sector access to world-leading expertise and to facilities such as laboratories, workshops and libraries.

What support can businesses receive through the Low Carbon Eco-lnnovatory programme?

Businesses that are eligible for LCEI support can access impartial advice, reports and product testing from dedicated researchers and academic experts. There is also scope for companies to benefit from three-year PhD or one-year Masters students working full-time on their projects, three-to-six-month dissertation projects and one-month paid internships. All of this is aimed at increasing profitability, knowledge and competitive advantage, information sharing and access to specialist funding for businesses.

What sort of businesses can access support through the Low Carbon Eco-lnnovatory programme?

LCEI support is available to B2B SMEs in the Liverpool City Region, which incorporates Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. The project is not restricted to any specific industry areas.

Have any businesses already benefited from the Low Carbon Eco-lnnovatory programme?

A number of businesses have received support from the LCEI with successful outcomes. These include the property developer Urban Splash, which has been developing low carbon prefabricated houses, Knowsley Safari Park, which is seeking to become the world’s first zero carbon safari park, and Brimark Signs, which has reduced energy consumption with a new heating system, solar panelling, LED lighting and rainwater harvesting. LCEI is also currently supporting some SMEs who are developing new innovative technologies and products, and with specialist academic support, utilising the facilities of the Exemplar Houses LJMU have on-site to test and validate before going to market.

How does the Low Carbon Eco-lnnovatory programme benefit the Liverpool City Region?

The low carbon sector already contributes over £2 billion and over 22,000 jobs to the Liverpool City Region economy. Indeed, the region’s status as a Centre for Offshore Renewable Engineering (CORE) is recognition of its potential in the low carbon and renewable sectors. One of the aims of the LCEI programme is to further improve the strength of the Liverpool City Region in these areas by giving businesses the support and capabilities they need to exploit commercial opportunities that arise.

You can find out more about the Low Carbon Eco-lnnovatory on the Local Growth Hub website.