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Government policy, including the UK Hydrogen Strategy, estimates that by 2050, the hydrogen economy could create up to 100,000 jobs and £13bn of GVA. The British Energy Security Strategy (April 2022) committed to doubling the UK’s ambition to produce low-carbon hydrogen by 2030 and designing, by 2025, new business models for hydrogen transport and storage infrastructure.
Additionally, low-carbon energy was the fastest-growing sector for investment in 2022, and this shows no signs of slowing down in 2023.
With so many positive market conditions in place, I am pleased to announce that SETsquared is part of a consortium that will deliver the West of England Combined Authority-funded Hydrogen and Sustainable Transport Economy Accelerator (HSTEA).
We’ll be partnering with the University of Bath and its advanced propulsion R&I centre IAAPS, plus a broad consortium of SMEs, multinational corporates, and training providers. We will be contributing SETsquared expertise to lead the provision of a Hydrogen & Sustainable Transport Business Acceleration Hub, including a comprehensive range of investment and scale-up support for organisations looking to grow in this exciting emerging sector.
Funding from the Combined Authority will also support the creation of a Hydrogen & Sustainable Transport Innovation Centre at IAAPS, an Industrial Research and Innovation Programme, and specialist R&D facilities. This will complement the recent Research England UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) funded Green Hydrogen Facility to produce green hydrogen at IAAPS, creating a significant asset for hydrogen research and innovation in the West of England.
Overall, HSTEA will be a key component in accelerating the growth of the hydrogen economy cluster in the West of England, and there are many reasons why we should expect it to flourish.
First off, the accelerator will join a range of nationally important connected research facilities in the region, including the IAAPS (which will also provide a base for HSTEA) at the Bristol and Bath Science Park, the National Composites Centre, GKN Aerospace Global Technology Centre, and Airbus’ Zero Emission Development Centre.
Secondly, these new capabilities and assets will naturally complement and enable collaboration with wider cross-regional initiatives to support the development of Hydrogen technologies as a major contribution to net zero, such as the Western Gateway Hydrogen Ecosystem and Hydrogen South West.
Finally, the West of England is already a hub of advanced technology with pioneering businesses and a highly skilled workforce that could lead the way in the use of Hydrogen to decarbonise the economy, particularly from our world-leading aerospace sector. The connection to major industrial partners and supply chain will support the region’s ambitions to become a national and international centre of excellence for net zero flight.
This initiative has the potential for making rapid progress in reducing emissions to achieve our net zero aims while creating the skills and new jobs needed for a wider transition to a green economy. The SETsquared team is proud to be part of such an ambitious plan and looking forward to playing a key role as the plan is implemented.
Business innovation, investment and growth support through the Hydrogen and Sustainable Transport Business Acceleration Hub will be available later in 2023. Complete the short form below to be notified when it launches.
If you would be interested in finding out more about the support that will be available to businesses working in low carbon hydrogen or sustainable transport, please complete the form below and we can keep you informed of any updates and when dates for the programme are in place.
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