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Low Carbon Innovation Forum

A three-month programme designed to help Cheshire businesses to understand the opportunities presented by the transition to a low carbon economy

Eco-I NW Innovation Catalyst funding logos which include: Eco-I North West, Centre for Global Eco-Innvation, European Regional Development Fund, Northern Powerhouse.

About the Programme

This is a historic programme that was funded by ERDF between 2014 and 2020. For further information about other business development opportunities please get in touch with us.

The Low Carbon Innovation Forum is designed for SME leaders interested in connecting with like-minded regional peers, our academic expertise and industry partners.

See programme details & timetables

What's Involved?

This fully-funded* programme includes three once-a-month SME-focused and designed sessions, beginning with a two-day overnight residential based in Chester. You’ll participate in a range of practical and interactive challenges, workshops and tasks to develop the tools and techniques to explore low-carbon innovation and solutions for your business.

*Learn about costs & eligibility

Session: Cheshire Residential Induction

Date(s): 25th/26th January 2023 - 2 day, overnight stay

Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm, both days

Location: Crowne Plaza, Chester

What to expect:

Day 1. The programme begins by forming the peer group. This will be achieved by creating an immersive start to develop trust amongst the group, create bonds and develop interaction and energy to support each other throughout the programme. You will be introduced to Net Zero Principles before conducting a mapping exercise to understand your low carbon challenges.

Day 2. You will examine today's innovation landscape with sample case studies and group challenges. This workshop will help you identify the kind of innovations you can develop and implement within your business and also consider some of the practical barriers faced by business and ways of over coming them. We explore some of the stark changes needed in order to meet global future needs and the strategic thinking and skills required by business leaders.

Lunch, dinner and bed & breakfast provided as well as refreshments during the workshops.

Session: Creating a Sustainable Business Model

Date(s): 22nd February 2023

Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm

Location: Cheshire, venue TBC

What to expect: For businesses seeking to transition their business to reduce their carbon output, they need to develop alternative business models. This session will look at how to create, deliver and capture value for the business. It will focus on the steps required to re-evaluate business processes to strengthen product and service lifecycles, address resource optimisation, and improve competitiveness, with the overarching aim to move towards a sustainable, low carbon business model.

Lunch is provided.

Session: Action planning and pricing for the future

Date(s): 15th March 2023

Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm

Location: Cheshire, venue TBC

What to expect: This final workshop gives you the opportunity to take a step back and draw together all the areas covered throughout the programme to create a focused action plan which builds low carbon innovation into your business.

Lunch is provided.

Benefits to your Business

There is real incentive for SMEs to dedicate time to think about eco-innovation within their business. The potential benefits include more efficient processes, cost-saving ideas and a competitive advantage through innovation development. You will draw knowledge from the strong expertise within Lancaster University, and learn the tools and techniques to take a fresh view of business practices.

Develop your leadership

Develop your own leadership through critical thinking, reflection, collaboration, generating greater capacity and confidence.

Understand challenges/opportunities for your business and sector

Future proof your business in the current challenging and changing environment.

Join a peer-network

Build a network of like-minded SMEs within the group to share expertise and explore the low carbon agenda together.

Access expertise and resources

Using proven management tools to develop a sustainable business model.

"For SMEs, achieving a sustainable business model has never been of greater priority. What the Low Carbon Innovation Forum offers is access to the bigger picture: the chance to become part of a powerful network for sharing challenges and opportunities, supported by up-to-the-minute ideas, tools and assistance from the academic community.”

Nicola Roberts speaking at a workshop
Eco-I North West Partner Uni Logos: UoC, MMU, UCLAN, LJM, UoL

Our Eco-I North West Partners

This programme is designed and delivered by Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) and forms part of Eco-I North West, a £14m project led by The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University and in partnership with the universities of Central Lancashire, Cumbria, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores and Manchester Met.

Costs & Eligibility

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

  • Based in Cheshire
  • Employ between 5 and 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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