The University of Bath has launched a brand new sustainable tech hub in the city, ready to support the next generation of pioneering green innovation in the South West.
“The West of England is world-leading in environmental innovation”
Based at the Bath SETsquared Innovation Centre and supported by green network Low Carbon South West (LCSW), the hub aims to establish and scale-up over 130 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) over the next three years within the low carbon and sustainable technology fields and is the first of its kind in the UK.
“Supporting the growth of disruptive and efficient technologies and environmentally conscious goods and services will ensure we continue to gain investment and wider remit support for all projects and services that are better for the planet. We are truly excited to be working on this project to help find and support the next generation of innovative products and leaders in sustainability.”
Peter Keevill (pictured right), a designated entrepreneur-in-residence at the accelerator adds: “This sector is growing in importance all the time as we grapple with global challenges like climate change and it is an area which attracts talented and passionate people working for public, if not global, good. Working with good people on good tech is a great motivator for me personally.”
A green light
The programme, which has been funded by nearly £750,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has already begun to support several companies including sustainable self-build company Bright Green Futures and Qualisflow which uses the internet of things to help construction and development sites track and manage their environmental resources.
However, applications are still open via the Sustainable Business Accelerator Hub website for any SME looking to boost their sustainable tech business. This ranges from low carbon services and products, to sustainable chemical technologies and the sustainable built environment.
“We are building a pool of expert mentors and consultants to work with companies one-to-one”
Attracting high-growth companies, the programme will offer targeted resources to grow businesses even faster, with access to investment, customers and research and development grant funding.
Commenting further on the main benefits of the accelerator, Peter tells us: “The value of the programme comes in two parts; what we can explicitly deliver in terms of mentoring and training workshops and the ‘network effect’ of connecting with a lot of other companies, entrepreneurs, academics and institutions with a similar ethos – often working through similar challenges.
“We are building a pool of expert mentors and consultants to work with companies one-to-one and, where appropriate, provide workshop sessions for small groups with common issues. Good mentoring helps individuals fully understand their situation, build self-belief, make better decisions and focus on the growth path and opportunities amongst all the problems of starting and growing a business.”