Funding scheme for green innovation scoops national award

27 November 2023

A programme that supports organisations to develop green energy and carbon reduction schemes in Derbyshire has won a category at this year’s Innovation Awards.

The Green Entrepreneurs Programme, a partnership between the University of Derby and Derbyshire County Council, is a £2 million grant fund open to individuals and organisations based in the county looking to invest in and develop projects that support the drive towards the UK’s target of net zero carbon by 2050.

The programme team picked up the Sustainability Innovation Champion – Organisation category at the Innovation Awards, organised by the Technology Supply Chain, a membership organisation that connects UK innovative manufacturing, engineering and technology companies to grants, funded support and new opportunities. The awards recognise, reward and celebrate the companies, individuals and organisations dedicated to innovation. The national awards ceremonies attract thousands of entries from across the UK and beyond in four main categories: innovators, individual innovators, innovation champions and innovation thought leaders.

Among the organisations that have benefitted from Green Entrepreneurs Programme funding are the Arkwright Society Ltd, which received a £198,000 grant towards reinstating renewable hydro energy at Cromford Mills; BM Tech Ltd, which was awarded a grant of £111,959 for improvements to their process for recycling PVC plastic waste; and several organisations and businesses who were supported with grants for decarbonisation projects which introduced solar power and low carbon energy, addressing high energy costs and resulting in significant reductions in carbon emissions.

Mark Wheddon, Head of Delivery, Innovation and Research at the University of Derby, said:

“We are delighted to win this award in recognition of our partnership with Derbyshire County Council that supports so many innovative projects in the county as we move towards net zero carbon. It is inspiring to see the resourcefulness and creativity of individuals and organisations here in Derbyshire, and it is rewarding to be able to contribute towards initiatives that are making a real difference to our sustainable future.”

Councillor Tony King, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Clean Growth and Regeneration, said:

“We recognise the contribution our business community can make towards meeting our target of becoming a net zero county by 2050.

“We’re proud that through the Green Entrepreneurs Programme and our partnership with the University of Derby, we’ve been able to support local firms to develop green energy and cut carbon emissions as part of our net-zero ambitions.”

Dr Richard Fallon, CEO of the Technology Supply Chain, added:

“The Innovation Awards recognise, celebrate and reward innovation across the UK and internationally. Our winners are considered best-in-class and it is a pleasure to celebrate their achievements. This is a great win for the work done by the University of Derby in supporting SMEs in their region with much needed green innovation.”

Find out more about the Green Entrepreneurs Programme.

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