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Greater Manchester Energy Innovation Agency to launch with challenge to innovators

Categories: Low Carbon

Related sectors

Low Carbon

The Energy Innovation Agency officially launches next month, on April 28, with the aim of helping Greater Manchester reach its carbon neutral targets.

Based in Bruntwood Circle Square, it has been established by Manchester Metropolitan University, The University of Manchester and the University of Salford, property specialists Bruntwood, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, The Growth Company, Hitachi Europe and energy firm SSE.

It will bring together world-leading academic, private sector and public sector expertise, focusing on four core challenge areas of decarbonisation of heat, energy generation and storage, low carbon transport, and energy diversity and flexibility.

It will launch with a series of challenge events based on each focus area, designed to engage innovators from across the country and beyond, to solve some of the industry’s greatest problems and accelerate the journey to net zero carbon.

The first challenge will focus on finding new solutions to decarbonise heat generation in non-domestic buildings.

David Schiele, Director of the Energy Innovation Agency, said:

“Twelve per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions are produced from heating non-domestic buildings, of which 60% still generate their heat by gas. Reducing these emissions will be essential for the UK and, indeed, the rest of the world to speed up the progress of creating carbon-neutral cities and towns.

“As the home of The Energy Innovation Agency, Greater Manchester will be our testbed for this challenge, as well as the three challenges to follow. The potential prize extends far beyond the confines of our city region and as such we’re looking globally as well as locally to find solutions that can help to bolster this transition. We need innovators, entrepreneurs, and rainmakers to come forward with their brightest responses to this challenge – the world, literally, depends on it.”

The agency is inviting individuals and organisations, from within and outside Greater Manchester, to apply to pitch their solutions to the agency and key representatives from its partner organisations at its launch event in Manchester on April 28. The deadline to apply for pitching is 6pm on Monday, April 18.

Craig Morley, Energy Manager of agency partner organisation, Bruntwood, said: 

“ Our company owns and operates over 100 buildings across Greater Manchester and the UK, and we’re proud of our heritage of developing sustainably – from the very beginning choosing to recycle rather than rebuild, bringing new value and life to existing buildings.

“ In addition to developing all of our new buildings with a sustainable focus, we’re actively embracing the opportunity to retrofit our building portfolio to improve efficiency and sustainability and doing so in a way which benefits our customers and communities.

“ We’ve joined the Energy Innovation Agency to find, develop and embrace innovations that help us accelerate our journey to net zero, and to offer insights into the opportunities and to overcome barriers we’re all facing as we work towards a low carbon future.”

David Hilton, Head of Inward Investment – Advanced Manufacturing at MIDAS, Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency said: 

“ The launch of the Energy Innovation Agency is a crucial milestone in reaching our ambitious carbon neutral targets. Helping businesses scale and implement low carbon solutions is what we do and we look forward to partnering with the agency to reinforce Greater Manchester’s position as a global leader in green innovation.”

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