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Sustainability West Midlands

SWM News May 2019 - WM Local Industrial Strategy has clean growth at its heart

On Thursday 16 May the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) published its Local Industrial Strategy, one of three trailblazers areas of the UK. This followed an extensive period of development and stakeholder engagement which SWM and many of our stakeholders contributed to. We've reviewed the Strategy and are pleased to see that stakeholders views have been considered and that clean and inclusive growth is at its heart. Our regional strengths in low carbon technologies are recognised, as is the value of our unique natural environment and biodiversity. With commitments to space and finance for innovation, we will see the growth of new market opportunities in future mobility and energy, and solutions to address urban challenges like air quality, flooding, overheating and climate change adaptation. In partnership with our networks of businesses, local authorities, universities, the health sector and communities, we look forward to supporting its implementation.

The Strategy prioritises three areas of business growth including scale up, productivity and finance. With support from the WMCA, we are today launching our own ‘Sustainable Business Support Hub’ which is aimed to be a first stop for all businesses aiming to improve their sustainability.

Read 'Our Comment' for a full analysis of the Local Industrial Strategy.

Anna Bright, Chief Executive, on behalf of the SWM team

Funding opportunities

  • By end of May 2019. Millennium Point has a number of small grants available for schools, colleges or not-for-profit organisations who’d like funding to support a STEM project.

  • By 4 June 2019. Innovate UK is offering up to £30,000 for the development of solutions to fuel inefficiency in the developing world, especially in regards to the impact of cooking fumes.

  • By June 2019. Businesses in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent can benefit from a £5m funding pot towards expanding business premises or renovating under-utilised areas.

  • By July 2019. Opportunity to apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy.

  • By July 2019. £25 million of match-funding is available for UK-developed late stage R&D, to support growth in advanced low carbon propulsion capability in the automotive sector.

  • By 31 July 2019. The WMCA's Better Streets Community Fund is your opportunity to secure funding to improve your streets by making them a better place to live and move about in.

  • By August 2019. UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £30 million to develop clean, cheap local energy systems that create prosperous, resilient UK communities.

  • By June 2021. The Worcestershire Natural Networks scheme aims to boost biodiversity in an ERDF-funded venture which includes SWM members Worcestershire County Council.

  • By December 2021. Businesses in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent can benefit from free energy audits and 60% grant funding towards energy efficiency measures

  • On-going. The Community and Environment Fund is to provide benefits to communities along the route disrupted by the construction of HS2.

  • On-going. BEIS funding of around £162 million is available in industrial research and innovation, including Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS).

  • On-going. The Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge is running a Start Up Competition, awarding businesses demonstrating sustainable entrepreneurship with up to €500,000.

  • On-going. The UK Government has announced how to apply for the Urban Tree Challenge fund, which has £10m available for the planting of trees in urban areas in England.

  • On-going. The European Regional Development Fund’s (ERDF) GBSLEP Habitats Grants Programme is open for applications that improve the environment for people/wildlife.

Over the past year we have promoted >£840 million of accessible funding.

Upcoming SWM and member events

  • SWM is running an event with CIWEM and Cenex on 5 June, World Environment Day, focusing on air quality and how the region can pull together to minimise the risks.
  • sben is hosting a plastic thinking event for World Environment Day on 5 June to encourage positive behaviour change around plastic consumption and waste.
  • SWM is exhibiting at the Energy Solutions Show on 5 June, an exhibition that will showcase the latest in innovations and technologies to support energy management.
  • SWM and partners Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands are convening the next Innovative Low Carbon Working Group meeting on 6 June, hosted by our members Coventry University.
  • The University of Birmingham is convening a lecture to be delivered by Professor Phil Blythe on 11 June which will explore the future of mobility.
  • SWM is running a workshop at a Staffordshire University run event on 11 June to discuss opportunities for SMEs, including funding and grants.
  • SWM will be exhibiting at Healthcare Facilities Management on 12 June, for those in the healthcare sector looking to improve efficiencies.
  • EnTRESS is seeking to raise awareness of environmental sustainability in the brewing industry at their event on 13 June, seeking to build relations with local brewing businesses.
  • Coventry & Warwickshire Green Business Programme is running an event to help businesses save money through better waste management on 18 June.
  • SWM is running a sustainability focused workshop for SMEs at the Worcestershire 'Great Things' event on 18 June.
  • SWM is a partner in the Flood & Coast conference, aiming to deliver excellence in flood  management. We will be exhibiting across all three days from 18-20 June.
  • SWM is a partner and exhibiting at the Sustainable Buildings and Estates Forum from 20-21 June, looking at how all aspects of projects can be made more sustainable.
  • Climate Change Solutions is running an event on 20 and 21 June to bring people together from across all sectors in the name of sustainability, focusing on reducing local emissions.
  • SWM's members' only Summer Social takes place on 25 June and is supported by Bryt Energy. The event will provide exclusive networking and partnership development opportunities.
  • EnTRESS is running an event looking at the Circular Economy in the Construction Sector on 27 June to look at how businesses can be more involved with this concept.
  • Fit For The Future Network is hosting an ESOS Q&A event with a representative from the Environment Agency on 27 June.
  • SWM is running a workshop on Clean Growth at this year's Venturefest West Midlands, co-organised by our partners Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands, taking place on 4 July.
  • EnTRESS is hosting Wearing Out Waste at the University of Wolverhampton on 12 July, with talks on the sustainable textile industry.
  • Fit for the Future Network is running a workshop focusing on developing policies and strategies for sustainability on 18 July in Swindon. SWM will be speaking at this event.
  • Cenex is running a LCV and Connected Automated Mobility Event on 4 and 5 September in Bedfordshire.
  • SWM will be exhibiting at Recycling and Waste Management 2019 from 11-12 September, taking place in Birmingham and bringing together industry experts to tackle business waste.
  • SWM will be exhibiting at Solar & Storage Live 2019, taking place on 17-19 September, gathering people from across all sectors interested in solar energy technology.

A full list of upcoming events is available here as well as our full member list here.

Other SWM and member updates

  • SWM would really like to engage with you further on social media so please follow our Twitter and LinkedIn pages for more regular updates and engagements.
  • SWM's new board member James Willcox from Willmott Dixon has written a blog for his introduction to SWM and his vision for his time on the board.
  • SWM also welcomes Willmott Dixon as a new member. They are a large-scale construction and property company that strongly believe in leaving a good environmental legacy.
  • SWM welcomes new member Makematic Ltd, who specialise in producing educational resources around the UN SDGs.
  • SWM is looking for sponsors for its Air Quality Event at the University of Birmingham on 5 June with various packages available, including an opportunity to speak about your organisation. 
  • Cycle-R has published a case study with SWM, detailing their work and how they've had an impact on local employment.
  • The Environment Agency is launching the start of its consultation on the draft national flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy for England.
  • The Flood & Coast Excellence Awards will be held at the Flood and Coast 2019 Conference, celebrating innovative projects that have tackled flooding issues.
  • Cenex has published a report looking at Vehicle-To-Grid (V2G) technology summarising work already completed on this project.
  • SHAP is looking to procure a new Secretariat to support various exciting initiatives coming up in the near future.
  • The Energy Systems Catapult is advertising for a new Programme Manager to help deliver their various exciting projects.
  • Worcestershire County Council has been awarded "Council of the Year" at the West Midlands Regional Energy Efficiency Awards 2019 in recognition of their carbon and financial savings.
  • Warwick University is looking for summer placement opportunities for their students in order for students to gain experience in different industries.
  • Venturefest West Midlands is taking place on 4 July at the NEC and sponsors are being sought providing exclusive engagement opportunities with SMEs.
  • Coventry University is seeking partners for their environmental big data project, expertise in the analysis and assimilation of ‘big data’ for potential use to assess urban heat islands.
  • Social Enterprise UK’s latest research report calls for a rethink on how public bodies use social value, urging it to be placed front and centre of how local and central government works.

SWM members can send their events, research or other contributions to to be included in the next newsletter. Not a member? There are many advantages to SWM membership; find out more here.

Other news and events

  • Birmingham Commonwealth Games is looking for a Sustainability and Legacy Manager to drive forward the sustainability aims of the games and ensure legislatory compliance.
  • Nottingham City Council on behalf of the Midlands Energy Hub is advertising for a Principal Rural Energy Officer to join their team and have control of distribution of that area of grants.
  • Place Partnership has announced that they are advertising for a role of Energy Manager, with applications closing on 31 May.
  • Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chambers of Commerce is advertising for a full-time Energy and Resource Efficiency Advisor, fixed term until 2022.
  • UK Green Buildings Council is running an event on 6 June focusing on its Net Zero Task Group and how it relates to Birmingham and the West Midlands.
  • UK Research & Innovation will be running a Strength in Places Fund Wave 2 Engagement Event on 7 June in Birmingham.
  • Energy Saving Trust is running its Achieving ‘Road to Zero’ event on 19 June, looking at how to ensure all vehicles sold are zero-emissions by 2040.
  • Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research is running a workshop for local authorities on setting climate change targets in Nottingham on 20 June.

  • The Black Country Technical Assistance Team is running a series of ERDF capacity building workshops throughout June and July. 
  • WMCA announces the West Midlands will explore how new Energy Innovation Zones could make energy costs cheaper for businesses and residents thanks to a grant from Government.
  • The RECREATE ERDF Project will focus on the opportunities that new markets offer to innovative and dynamic transport SMEs through adaption of regional support schemes.
  • Shropshire Wildlife Trust is advertising the Marches Blue Business Award, open to organisations who have demonstrated innovative ways to reduce water consumption and waste.

For a full list of all our upcoming events, visit our events page here. For news items, visit our news page here.

We hope you enjoyed reading our newsletter. If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter, are interested in becoming a member or have news stories, events, case studies and reports, please visit our website or contact us. In order to avoid this email going into spam, please add us to your contacts list.

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