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Held on the evening of 21 June around the Great Bath, academics from the University connected with sustainable innovators from SETsquared’s West of England Sustainable Technologies Scale-up Programme.
The fully-funded, low carbon innovation support programme is specifically for SMEs in the region wanting to become more sustainable or who are already developing a sustainable product or service. It is designed to help organisations address their sustainability challenges and focus on sustainable growth. It also provides opportunities for participants to network and signposts to additional and future support.
Also in attendance were participants from the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Leadership in Innovation Fellowships (LIF) Advance programme who had gathered from across the globe as part of a unique residential to celebrate their graduation from the programme. The nine-month LIF programme supports global entrepreneurs to grow their businesses responsibly and sustainably.
Professor Matthew Davidson opened the evening, highlighting that since the programme started in 2021, over 40 companies have already received invaluable support through the programme’s expertly run Sustainability Workouts, tailored 1:1 support or academic research with the University.
Professor Davidson is Director of the Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies (CSCT) and the academic lead for the West of England Sustainable Technologies Scale-up Programme. The CSCT is a department at the University which works with industry to address real-world sustainability needs, utilising funded programmes to cultivate links with SMEs in the region and provide support and knowledge exchange between sectors.
While attendees enjoyed dinner around the Great Bath, they heard from Jinghui Yinag, founder of LabCycle, who spoke about her start-up journey. LabCycle is the first company to market to offer bespoke recycling services for different disciplines and sectors, creating a circular economy for hazardous single use plastic. Jinghui expressed how the support from SETsquared, the University and the Royal Academy of Engineering had helped her get to where she is now and prepare LabCycle for investment.
David Benito, spoke next about his company Glaia, which delivers effective solutions to help farmers produce our food, enhancing agriculture productivity using technology. David highlighted how useful the Sustainability Workout had been for him and how since being part of the programme, it has opened doors to academics at the University.
The hum from conversations continued to echo around the Baths and the positive energy could be felt as the sun began to set and new connections were made between like-minded innovators.
The evening was deemed a success as attendees departed and LinkedIn notifications buzzed!
The West of England Sustainable Technologies Scale-Up Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) until 2023. If you’d like to find out more about the support on offer and express your interest in taking part, please visit the programme page.
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