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Sustainability West Midlands

SWM News September 2018 - Join us at our Annual Conference 

We’d be delighted if you could join us for our Annual Conference on Monday 3 December at Edgbaston Park Hotel at the University of Birmingham.

This year we’re focusing on local industrial strategies and what they mean for the region. The West Midlands Combined Authority will be one of the first areas in the country to deliver its local industrial strategy (LIS) this Autumn. Worcestershire, the Marches and Stoke & Staffordshire LEPs will follow with the publication of their strategies in 2019.

We’re in the process of developing the full agenda which will allow you to hear first-hand from the WMCA how their LIS will drive continued business growth and productivity improvements across the West Midlands, in way that ensures all our residents and communities feel the benefits. It will include an opportunity for you to shape the delivery of sector action plans. It will also be a chance to help Worcestershire, the Marches and Stoke and Staffordshire LEPs develop their LIS.

Our members can join us for free and we’d love to see plenty of new faces in the room. Full details including registration are available on our website.

Anna Bright, Chief Executive, on behalf of the SWM Team. 

Funding opportunities

  • By 30 September. Anthesis Energy UK has a pot of funding for the replacement of communal or district heating systems attached to housing.

  • By 3 October. The Advanced Propulsion Centre is seeking proposals for UK based R&D projects that significantly reduce emissions and improve air quality.

  • By 5 October. Over £300,000 is now available for community projects that get tough on litter, building on commitments in the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

  • On 11 October, MEBC is running an access to finance event focusing on both choosing funding and managing funding responsibly.

  • By 15 October. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is inviting expressions of interest for funding for improving skills for offsite construction.

  • On 22 October. Solihull for success is running an event on obtaining various sources of funding for SMEs.

  • By 24 October. Innovate UK has £20 million for projects to transform the agrifood sector and improve the sustainability and efficiency of agricultural systems.

  • By 5 November. The Friends Provident Foundation is providing financial support to projects that promote a more resilient, sustainable and fairer economic system.

  • On 28 November, Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme (CWGBP) is hosting an event looking at funding opportunities and SME case studies.

  • By 5 December. The £20 million Hydrogen Supply programme aims to accelerate the development of low carbon bulk hydrogen supply solutions.

  • By 6 December. UK businesses can apply for up to £4 million to research and develop technologies that accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles.

  • By 12 December. £23m is available from government for the development of better and more resilient battery technology and supply chains as part of the Faraday Battery Challenge.

  • By 28 February 2019. The ERDF Business Growth Programme has been extended. This is to help SMEs grow in selected areas in the West Midlands.

  • By March 2019. SMEs can obtain free energy audits and 40% grant funding towards energy efficiency measures in Greater Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country.

  • By May 2019. SMEs can benefit from the Keele Research and Innovation Support Programme (KRISP) to help develop products, processes or services.

  • 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).

Over the past year we have promoted >£700 million of accessible funding.

Upcoming SWM and member events

  • EnTRESS is running an Internet of Things workshop on 2 October, showing how to use this technology to drive efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Keele University is launching their new Institute for Sustainable Futures, contributing to education, research, and training on 3 October.
  • University of Birmingham is welcoming Professor Richard Parker CBE (formerly of Rolls-Royce) to give a talk on “Models for Industrial Innovation” on 9 October
  • MEBC will be helping SMEs access finance to support issues around resource efficiency and renewable energy at a workshop on 11 October.
  • Solar Media is running the Solar and Storage Live 2018 show on 16-18 October in Birmingham; SWM will be exhibiting at the event.
  • EBRI is running a masterclass on bioenergy technologies and associated financing and skills required on 17 and 18 October in West Bromwich.
  • CWGBP is providing a walking tour of buildings with green design operated by the Council and University on 18 October.
  • Worcestershire County Council is hosting a morning with Worcestershire Clean Tech Innovators providing insights into low carbon innovation on 19 October.
  • Climate Change Solutions is looking at how the Midlands can embrace clean growth at an event on 23 October.
  • CREST is hosting a free seminar for SMEs in Shropshire about how to claim tax relief for R&D as well as protecting intellectual property on 23 October.
  • SWM members can obtain a 10% discount on the price of attending the Public Health: The Unusual Suspects Conference taking place on 24 October.
  • BECCI is running a technical workshop on retrofitting solid walls, especially cavity wall insulation on 24 October.
  • SWM is exhibiting at an event on 25 October promoting Warwickshire’s transition towards greener, more sustainable transport fleets.
  • Energy Systems Catapult is providing an update on its flagship Future Power System Architecture (FPSA) programme at an event in London on 25 October.
  • CWGBP is running free workshops on 31 October and 30 November to help SMEs reduce energy costs and make the most of the Green Business Funding.
  • Climate Change Solutions is hosting its ‘Making Places Last’ event on 7 November, focusing on low carbon, sustainable housing.
  • Keele University will be providing an opportunity for networking for Staffordshire SMEs to hear about the KRISP project on 8 November.
  • CWGBP is providing breakfast for SMEs to network and discuss grid battery technology and photovoltaics on 22 November.
  • Climate Change Solutions is providing a showcase event on the topic of hydrogen and fuel cell technology on 22 November.
  • SWM is exhibiting at UHEI 2018 where key issues from the Healthcare and Higher Education sectors will be addressed on 27-28 November.
  • CWBP is hosting an event looking at funding opportunities and case studies for SMEs in Coventry and Warwickshire on 28 November.

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

Other SWM and member updates

  • SWM welcomes new members CliniSolutions, Coventry University and KiWi Power.
  • SWM welcomes Leo Morton as our new Volunteer Communications Officer until May 2019, on placement from SWM members Coventry University.
  • SWM has published its latest report on behalf of the WMCA, which analyses its progress on sustainability compared to all other combined authorities in England.
  • WMCA has been given input by SWM into a draft of the West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy. A formal consultation process comes next month.
  • MEBC has opened applications for the MEBC Business Awards 2018 for Innovation and Sustainability. Apply before 30 September.
  • SWM presented on local environmental priorities to help Defra inform the local implementation of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.
  • WMCA is running ‘Thrive at Work’, a workplace commitment aiming to create a workplace that promotes employee health and wellbeing; sign your organisation up!
  • SWM, in partnership with the Innovation Alliance, ran the latest Innovative Low Carbon Working Group meeting on 18 September hosted by members EBRI.
  • Staffordshire County Council, with partners, has been delivering a series of workshops about flood risk in schools. We’ve written a case study about it.
  • SWM has been supporting LEPs with the development of their energy strategies. Check out our latest case study on our involvement in The Marches.
  • SWM has been supporting the Heritage Lottery Fund with its sustainability agenda. Get in touch to find out what similar support we can provide to you.

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

  • Meres and Mosses Business Environment Network is hosting a green energy management day on 10 October giving insight into energy management for businesses.
  • The Government is running Green GB Week: a landmark week of action to celebrate clean growth during week commencing 15 October; get involved.
  • The Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands has written a blog on how innovation can be integrated into the Local Industrial Strategy.
  • Climate-KIC is searching for entrepreneurs to pitch their ‘cleantech’ start-up to an expert jury. Promising entrepreneurs can then join their Accelerator Programme.

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.

Best wishes,

Leo Morton, on behalf of Alan Carr

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