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Mission Zero: Delivering net zero business support in the post-ERDF era


29 March 2023


11:30 – 13:00




University of Derby

Mission Zero Delivering net zero business support in the post ERDF era w1200 h632

The Event

Audience: This seminar is aimed at public sector, university, business and civic leaders who are involved in designing and delivering pro-environmental enterprise support.

Please complete this short poll to help the organisers understand your experience of this arena. It should take no longer than 5 mins and will contribute to the content of the event.


In January 2023, the UK Government published Chris Skidmore’s independent review of net zero policy. Its purpose was to identify how the UK could meet its net zero commitments in an affordable and efficient manner, specifically one that is “pro-business, pro-enterprise and pro-growth”. Mission Zero argues that seizing the opportunities presented by the UK’s net zero targets requires a much bolder approach from government.

In this webinar, the organisers ask how regional policy makers and business programme providers can better support firms to make the shift to net zero. As European funding streams come to a close and new UK funding begins to replace them, the University of Derby explore the lessons learned over recent years that can help policy makers and programme providers take a quantum leap in pro-environmental enterprise provision.

Making effective policy for SME decarbonisation: policy and sector stakeholder perspectives.

Professor Will Eadson (Sheffield Hallam University)

This presentation will be based on early findings from interviews with 40-50 policy stakeholders and sector representatives across the UK, about what they see as the key challenges for SME decarbonisation policy.

What have we learned about delivering ‘future-fit’ support for pro-environmental business?

Associate Professor Fred Paterson (University of Derby)

Based on evidence submitted to the Mission Zero call for evidence, longitudinal research and years of experience delivering funded support programmes, this presentation sets out key elements, barriers and enablers of decarbonization and green growth support. Fred will present the case for a multi-strand approach and much greater collaboration amongst stakeholders to deliver ‘future fit’ provision for SMEs.

Lessons from the emerging funding landscape and how your support programmes can adapt

Zoe Osmond (Clean Growth UK, Brighton University)

Clean Growth UK is a partnership of three University support programmes based in Brighton, Portsmouth and Liverpool – and undoubtedly one of the leading providers of pro-environmental business support in the UK. Zoe will explain how the Clean Growth programmes have developed in response to the new funding regimes and explore some of the lessons learned from engagement and collaboration with providers across the country.


Time will be given to hear from attendees about your current experiences of delivering pro-environmental enterprise support and explore the challenges and opportunities of the new funding regime. A key aim is to identify existing examples of impactful business support provision in order to draw out further lessons learned to present to a national audience of programme providers, policy stakeholders and politicians later in the year.


This event will be delivered via the University of Derby’s Collaborate Ultra learning platform. A link will be provided after registration. No passwords will be required.

This online event will act as a springboard for a larger face to face event to be held in a central midlands location in June 2023 which will hold a similar focus, but will be aimed at local politicians, regional and national policy stakeholders, sustainability and regeneration leaders.

This session is part of the University of Derby’s Sustainable Futures Research Exchange.

In these short sessions, leading academics and change agents present lessons learned from experience, academic research and explore how evidence-based insight can help address the practical challenges faced in the #RacetoZero. There will also be opportunity for the exchange of ideas and challenging dialogue – which can lead to some very lively conversations.

You may be interested to hear stories from the front line of low carbon business support in the Low Carbon Business Podcast – available on all the usual podcast platforms.



Sound good? Register your place.

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