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Boost is a funded business support service that helps Lancashire business owners and leaders navigate the business support landscape to find the right support for their business.

Our Business Support Spotlight series highlights the wealth of support listed on Boost’s Support Hub and available to Lancashire businesses.

Today’s spotlight shines on Lancaster University’s Centre for Global Eco-Innovation: Eco-I North West Project.

How do you help Lancashire businesses?

Our flagship project Eco-I North West has a distinctive model for interdisciplinary research and seeks to support low carbon business innovations across the region, including the areas of Cumbria, Lancashire, Liverpool City Region, Cheshire & Warrington and Greater Manchester.

This is the first project of its kind that will open up such a huge regional resource to our businesses. Eco-I NW follows eight years of award winning and successful collaborative research and development (R&D) activities and is delivered by a consortium of universities; Lancaster, Central Lancashire,  CumbriaLiverpoolLiverpool John Moores and Manchester Met. Business projects are delivered through a variety of short term interventions and long term technical assistance.

Why do Lancashire businesses need your support?

The business community has the power to influence the effects of climate change, through business operations, supply chains and offering more sustainable choices to customers. For positive change we must disrupt and challenge the ‘business as usual’ mind set. Low carbon innovation is essential for the future prosperity of the planet and organisations.

Eco-I North West has a range of short-term and long term R&D and innovation support available to businesses who work across different themes and sectors.

How are you helping Lancashire businesses overcome the economic challenges of coronavirus?

Eco-I NW is a £14m funded project and can therefore provide the funding, expertise and resources small and medium sized (SMEs) businesses need to turn their ideas into action. In time of crisis, we hope to facilitate business recovery, resilience, innovation and growth.

What are the other key challenges for Lancashire businesses at the moment?

COP26, held in Glasgow, has just concluded with a series of collaborative targets to reduce carbon emissions. These ambitions will impact all businesses in all sectors – the environmental and social impact of business has never been higher on the agenda.

Reducing the environmental impact of your operations is key to future proofing your business and often actually helps to reduce costs in the long run. Customers and supply chain partners are increasingly aware of how business operations impact the environment.

Improvements in this area not only make good business sense but also ensures your business is operating ethically and responsibly. Now is the time to identify ways of reducing your carbon footprint.

What’s the future for the Lancashire economy?

A recent Science and Innovation Audit report, commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, provides an evidence base demonstrating that England’s North West is best placed to lead globally in developing the innovations and skilled people needed to drive clean and sustainable growth.

This report established an ambition and collective vision of translating world-class research and innovation for clean growth into regional economic value.

Businesses in England’s North West, and indeed Lancashire, are key to driving forwards this ambition. The Eco-I North West project seeks to bring together these ambitious businesses and drive clean growth that is better for business and better for the environment.

Boost can help Lancashire businesses navigate the local, regional and national public and private sector business support landscape to find the right support for their business. Call 0800 488 0057 or complete our quick form and a member of the Boost team will be in touch to start your growth conversation.

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