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£100,000 Eco Innovation opportunities for ambitious businesses in the North West

Story supplied by LU Press Office

Businesses have until Monday 11 June to register for funded research and development from a new Centre for Global Eco Innovation in the North West.

The centre - designed to bolster the region's economy in key export markets and drive forward improvements in green technology and services - brings together the expertise, resources and global contacts of Lancaster University and the University of Liverpool, together with international commercialisation consultancy Inventya Ltd.

The centre is to receive £4.9m of funds from the European Regional Development Fund's North West operational programme. The centre will form collaborative research and development partnerships to enable and drive innovation in businesses.

Businesses are matched with 50 of the UK's brightest graduates who will complete three-year research and development projects in partnership with the business to develop new products, processes and services for the global marketplace that have positive environmental benefits. The graduates will use these collaborations as the basis of a PhD programme of study.

Businesses will also benefit from the time, resources, contacts and expertise from the two universities. This intensive research and development is worth more than £100K, with each business making a financial contribution of £4,000 per year.

The new products and services developed will help each business increase profitability and deliver a significant number of new jobs to the region, making a measurable contribution to economic recovery in the North West.

In addition to intensive three-year collaborations, the centre will also work via Inventya Ltd to deliver a programme of business support for companies exploring the export market and a range of other opportunities for collaborative working with both of the universities.

Project Manager Dr Phil Leigh said: "A number of businesses have already been partnered up with experts at Lancaster University and the University of Liverpool, kick starting some genuinely exciting possibilities.

"Our business and academic teams are already exploring new products and services with the potential to make a real difference to people's lives. These range from developing technology for a low-cost, power-free renal therapy device to techniques for future domestic energy control for low carbon buildings. We also have projects looking at new approaches to sustainable pest control using light and partners exploring technology for a novel transparent biopolymer that has the potential to revolutionise the design of contact lenses and corneal bandages."

SMEs have until June 11th to register. Collaborative projects start in October 2012. Projects that have had expertise allocated are live online here.

Register your interest online now or contact Project Manager, Dr Phil Leigh Tel: +44 (0)1524 510214 Email: p.leigh@lancaster.ac.uk

Fri 04 May 2012

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