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Why the South West Leads in Low Carbon Innovation

Amber Rudd, MP and Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), [today] visited SETsquared to discover how the

South West is leading innovation in low carbon development.

Amber Rudd, MP, attended a breakfast discussion with local businesses and academics hosted by Low Carbon South West and SETsquared to hear first-hand how the South West has become a global leader in low carbon development.

The SETsquared Centre in Bath hosts a significant number of the UK’s low carbon tech companies in fields as diverse as aerospace technology, solar energy, defence and wastewater management. SETsquared, recently ranked as the top university business incubator in Europe and second best in the world [by the University Business Incubator (UBI) Index] is an enterprise and innovation programme run in collaboration by the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. It supports a number of these companies through its business incubation programme, giving entrepreneurship training, mentoring and access to finance through its investor events.

The roundtable event discussed innovation in energy use, production, and efficiency. Participants shared their experiences of sustainable business development, both as examples of good practice and potential models for national replication in line with the UK’s targets of reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd said “Innovative technologies are essential for the growth of the UK’s low carbon economy and we have schemes in place to help support entrepreneurs across the nation. There are a range of exciting projects underway here in the South West and it’s great to hear first-hand how businesses are embracing the opportunities on offer.”

Amy Robinson, Network Director of Low Carbon South West, the membership organisation for the low carbon sector said: “The South West continues to be a global leader in sustainability technology, because it knows how to develop and nurture innovative organisations and ideas. Having Energy and Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd and her DECC team here to discuss the needs of established and developing businesses through Low Carbon South West, and innovative new start-up businesses through SETsquared, is a great opportunity.”

Simon Bond, Innovation Director at SETsquared, added: “I am immensely proud of the way the South West is leading the UK’s low carbon sector. What is important is to give these innovative start-ups the support they need to turn their ideas and innovations into profitable businesses that contribute to the local and national economy. SETsquared and Low Carbon South West are doing just that and today was a fantastic opportunity to share our success stories with Amber Rudd MP.”

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SETsquared is a partnership between

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Southampton logo
  • University of Surrey