Midlands Green Innovation Network and Report Launched

Date posted: December 15, 2022

The Midlands Green Innovation Report was today launched at the inaugural event of the Midlands Green Innovation Network, hosted by Midlands Engine, Energy Research Accelerator, and Federation of Small Businesses. The report launch and network event was hosted in University of Nottingham’s Ingenuity Centre, an incubator for new innovative business start-ups.

Roger Mendonca, Chief Executive of the Midlands Engine, launched the report, which was co-written by the Energy Research Accelerator and Midlands Engine Observatory.

Roger Mendonca, Chief Executive at Midlands Engine, launching the Midlands Green Innovation Report

The report builds on the threads of the Green Innovation theme in the Ten Point Plan for Green Growth in the Midlands Engine and highlights the strengths, challenges and opportunities for green innovation in the region. The report also presents six recommendations for pan-regional collaborative action which could help Midlands business take advantage of the accelerating growth of the green economy. These are:

  • Coordination of green innovation activities across the region and creation of a platform to showcase examples of green innovation.
  • Establishing, and seeking funding for, a programme to support energy intensive businesses to decarbonise and drive down energy costs and increase efficiency.
  • Develop an advisory and support programme to enable businesses to pivot and grow in the cleantech sector.
  • Support the development of funded region-wide thematic innovation programmes.
  • Advocate for new RD&I facilities for the region.
  • Support the development of a Net Zero Skills directory, connecting the regional skills, training and degree programmes into a Midlands Net Zero Academy.

Following the recommendations laid out in the report, Midlands Engine, the Energy Research Accelerator and the Federation of Small Businesses have partnered together to pilot the Midlands Green Innovation Network (MGIN) – a knowledge exchange network delivered through a series of online webinars and in-person events rotating around the Midlands. The network aims to provide small businesses with the support they need in order to maximise their potential for innovation in green energy by reducing energy use, recycling waste, sustainability using resource, and developing greener products. At the MGIN’s inaugural event – Innovate to Thrive! –  Paul Yeomans of University of Nottingham’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) spoke about the importance of businesses innovating, and gave real-world examples of how KTPs have increased profitability and market share of businesses through innovation.

Other speakers included Faye McAnulla, Programme Director for the Energy Research Accelerator and Natalie Gasson-McKinley MBA, Development Manager, Federation of Small Businesses.

Faye McAnulla, Programme Director at ERA, highlighting diagram of funding options for business innovation.

The Midlands Green Innovation Network will look to cover a range of topics with the next few events listed below:

19 January 2023Thinking Outside the Box – how to look at your
problems in new ways to find innovative solutions.
9 February 2023Skills for the Green Economy – what skills
are needed by businesses for the new green
economy? Opportunity for business to feedback
into the Local Skills Improvement Plan.
Derby University
2 March 2023Protecting Your Ideas – learn from the UK’s
Intellectual Property Office how you can protect
your ideas and technologies.
University of Birmingham
20 April 2023Sustainable Product Development & Design – how to design sustainable productsDe Montfort University

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