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Eco-I North West

Low carbon R&D and innovation support for businesses across the UK North West

Enabling collaboration and innovation in business for a clean and sustainable future

Eco-I NW is a £14m R&D support project now open to businesses across England's North West. The programme has a distinctive model for interdisciplinary research and seeks to support low carbon business innovations across the region, including the areas of Cumbria, Lancashire, Liverpool City Region, Cheshire & Warrington and Greater Manchester. Previous programmes have supported more than 700 SMEs since 2012 and two of its graduates won the prestigious James Dyson Award in 2018.

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In a time of crisis, we hope to facilitate business recovery, resilience, innovation and growth.

This is the first project of its kind that will open up such a huge regional resource to our businesses. Delivered by a consortium of universities; Lancaster, Central Lancashire, Cumbria, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores and Manchester Met, Eco-I NW follows 8 years of award winning and successful collaborative R&D activities. Business projects will be delivered through a variety of short term interventions and long term technical assistance.

Why work with us?

  • Double the potential return on R&D investment through working with a university
  • Address key challenges and lead a sustainable revolution in your sector
  • Discover and work with a network of like-minded businesses, peers, stakeholders, collaborators and global contacts
  • Access award-winning business and innovation support
  • Benefit from knowledge and skills demonstrated to be world leading in a UK Science Innovation Audit
  • Gain access to people, facilities, understanding and resources to support your business in 6 leading regional research institutions
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Project Themes

We work across a wide range of business sectors, research disciplines and project themes. Our key themes are water, energy, natural capital, resource efficiency, air quality, waste and food.

Project Themes

What's on offer?

Tab Content: Collaboration Support

Low Carbon Innovation Forum

the Innovation Catalyst

Join a low carbon business cluster to stimulate innovation leadership, peer-to-peer learning and new ideas.

Insights to Innovation Events

Thought-provoking open events connecting businesses and focussed on key emerging low carbon themes.

Innovation Workshops

Broad workshop topics aiming to support clean growth, inward investment and the management of innovation.

Technical Workshops

Thematic workshops and cohort events to build technical understanding and innovation.

Clean Growth Platform

Online business networking site and resource library.

Tab Content: Short Term Practical Support

Commercialisation Support

Support to develop routes to market and next steps for clean growth innovations delivered by university academics, researchers and students.


Short term and flexible support delivered by a university student.

Tab Content: In Depth R&D Projects

Research & Development

Up to 12 months of focused R&D directed at your challenge area, delivered through a specially recruited researcher with academic support and access to appropriate equipment.

Student Research Projects

Access current university students from relevant disciplines to deliver your research project.

Tab Content: Capital Demonstrator Grants

Capital Demonstrator Grants

Providing match funded grants to support prototypes, pilots or demonstration systems, allowing innovations to move beyond lab scale and progress from research level to commercialisation.

Costs & Eligibility

This programme is part-funded and is available to businesses which are eligible under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) criteria, as follows:

  • Based in North West England
  • Employ fewer than 250 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
  • Annual turnover of less than €50 million (or the equivalent in GBP)
  • Received less than €200,000 of de minimis State Aid in the last 3 years.

Find out more about how and why Lancaster University and our funding bodies holds your information.


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Business Case Studies

Contact us

If you have any other questions about working with the centre that we haven’t covered, please contact us.

Business Enquiries

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