Businesses in the south will be able to bid for a share of over £600,000 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding for energy efficiency audits and grants and innovation (R&I).
The funding is part of the EMphasis3 CO2 Reductions Project being launched at the University of Portsmouth’s University to Business (U2B) event. The project aims to secure a 2,000 tonne reduction in CO2 emissions.
This three-year ERDF-funded project is led by the University of Portsmouth in partnership with the University of Winchester. It will be delivered by the cleantech cluster Greentech South, based at the University of Portsmouth.
The need for innovative solutions and improved energy efficiency to tackle climate change is recognised in the UK Industrial Strategy, which aims to secure the economic and security benefits of a low-carbon economy.
The EMphasis3 CO2 Reductions project aims to support this move towards a low carbon economy in the Enterprise M3 LEP region and nationally. The project will offer SMEs access to fully funded energy efficiency audits, as well as energy efficiency and R&I grants up to £25,000. EMphasis3 will promote energy efficiency and renewable energy use in SMEs and promote SME research and innovation in low carbon technologies.
Richard Hall, business development and programme manager at Greentech South, said: “Many small businesses are reluctant to install energy saving kit due to the cost, the unknown benefits and the confusing array of different solutions. Our offer of a free energy audit followed up by a grant up to £25,000 takes away much of that pain.
“Additionally, there are many brilliant inventors in our region developing solutions to reduce carbon emissions. We can offer them an innovation audit supported with a grant fund to help develop the product, prove the solution will work and take it to the market.
“With our experienced team, we will work with SMEs to support and encourage them to take action.”
Professor Bob Nichol, pro vice-chancellor (research and innovation) at the University of Portsmouth, said: “The University of Portsmouth is focused on facilitating the transition to a low carbon economy and the benefits that can bring to businesses and people in our region. Only by working together can we make the changes we need to respond to our warming planet. Promoting energy efficiency and renewables will be key."