Green Gown Awards 2015 Research and Development - Lancaster University - Winner

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Centre for Global Eco-Innovation

The £9.8M Centre for Global Eco-Innovation unites the expertise, resources and global contacts of Lancaster University, the University of Liverpool, and Inventya Limited, to develop new eco-innovative products, processes and services in collaboration with ambitious northwest businesses.

The Centre team has assessed over 150 SME driven project ideas, matched business projects with the best academic understanding across the two universities, and recruited researchers to support the SMEs.  A distributed team of over 200 people was established in six months.  This brought together 50 graduate researchers, 50 supervisors in the collaborating SMEs, over 70 academic supervisors and a management team across the three delivery partners, an unparalleled multi-disciplinary activity requiring the team to harmonise several administrative processes. 

To date, over 200 businesses have had advice and support including access to finance gaining approximately £4M of investment. The centre is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Top 3 learnings

1 Access to finance is critical to support and accelerate innovation, partnering with a commercial company helped access approximately £4M of investment so far

2 You may end up creating extra unplanned collaborations between partners and beneficiaries by sharing knowledge about your project

3 The benefits of working across instructions is hugely positive, combining complimentary expertise increases your offering to businesses.

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