Lancaster University is paving the way for Lancashire firms to capitalise on the market for eco-innovation – estimated to be worth £2 billion to the regional economy.

The new ‘Low Carbon Lancashire Innovation Hub’ has been launched to offer Lancashire small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) access to research and development projects from three research institutions.

Lancaster University, through its Centre for Global Eco-Innovation and the Lancaster University Management School, is collaborating with the Natural Environment Research Council’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Liverpool John Moores University to create the hub.

As part of the Hub, Lancaster University Management School is launching a new six month management programme – the ‘Low Carbon Innovation Forum’.

The ‘Low Carbon Innovation Forum’ programme will help directors and managers of 60 Lancashire-based SMEs improve competitiveness, and climate impacts, by developing new products, services or through improving the energy efficiency of day to day business operations.

The six month programme is funded through the European Regional Development Fund.

Helen Wilkinson, Programme Manager at Lancaster University Management School, said: “The sustainable business agenda has never been of greater priority. This new collaborative programme gives Lancashire SMEs a space to stop and think about their role in tackling the big issues. It will support SMEs to develop new ways of thinking, while offering the tools to accelerate the use of low carbon technologies and implement a low-carbon business model.”

More detail on the Low Carbon Innovation Forum is available on the Boost support directory by visiting www.Lancaster.ac.uk/lums/lowcarboninnovation, by emailing lowcarboninnovation@lancaster.ac.uk or calling Pete Cornwall on 01524 510728.

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