Eco-Innovation Centre a European first
A unique collaboration between the University of Liverpool, help Lancaster University and innovation consultancy Inventya Ltd is spearheading support for North West SME’s developing new eco products and processes.
The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation (CGE) services is targeting its support at innovative SMEs in the North West of England and has so far helped over 150 businesses, mind through a wide range of support services including: 50 fully-funded PhD research projects, funded internships, Masters and Undergraduate projects, commercial support such as market research, innovation development, funding applications and export and globalisation advice.
Amongst the companies who have benefitted from the PhD research posts are the Knowsley-based Elixir Group. The pioneering company operates a specialist recycling centre in Huyton as well as providing waste management solutions to commercial clients. Elixir also recycles its profits into training programmes working with ex-offenders, getting them back into permanent work. Elixir has worked closely with CGE and has benefitted from an 8 week research placement that resulted in Liverpool University student Jonathan Clarke helping the company design a new WEEE recycling line for LCD screens as well as researching new renewable options for the company’s energy division.
Another beneficiary of collaboration with CGE is AIMES Grid Services – a Liverpool-based cloud computing and data centre business. As a direct result of the placement of a Graduate Researcher in the company, it has been able to embark on new national and international research programmes into waste and carbon reduction in the transport and logistics sector. AIMES believe the collaboration with CGE has led directly to £4.7 million of new business.
Michael Walker, AIMES Projects Director explains:
‘Despite our University origins we were a little wary of introducing a funded Graduate Researcher into the team as we understand that it really has to work for all parties to make it a success. However, he has integrated well with the team whilst managing to bring a fresh perspective which is informed by his close liaison with Liverpool University, and aligning his PhD work with our projects has added a practical dimension for him whilst ensuring that we have had not only the benefit of his expertise but also the support of the University’.
Opportunities for research placements are open to all SME’s across the North West, although CGE are waiting for new funding for PhD placements which also require a small financial contribution from the host company.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or to find out more about how individual businesses have benefitted from working with CGE watch the case study videos below.