Ministerial visit for South West’s low carbon sector

Amber Rudd, MP and Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), visited the University of Bath Innovation Centre (UBIC), on Tuesday 18 November, to discover how the South West is leading innovation in low carbon development.

Greeting Amber Rudd MP of the Department for Energy and Climate Change (second from right) are (left to right) Ali Hadavizadeh, Innovation Centre Business Manager, Simon Bond Director of the Innovation Centre and Innovation Director of SETSquared and (far right) Amy Robinson of Low Carbon South West.

Amber Rudd, MP, attended a breakfast discussion with local businesses and academics hosted by Low Carbon South West and SETsquared to hear first-hand how the South West has become a global leader in low carbon development.

UBIC is a member of SETsquared business incubation and hosts a significant number of the UK's low carbon tech companies in fields as diverse as aerospace technology, solar energy, defence and wastewater management.

SETsquared, recently ranked as the top university business incubator in Europe and second best in the world (by the University Business Incubator (UBI) Index) is an enterprise and innovation programme run in collaboration by the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. It supports companies through its business incubation programme, giving entrepreneurship training, mentoring and access to finance through its investor events.

The roundtable event discussed innovation in energy use, production, and efficiency. Participants shared their experiences of sustainable business development, both as examples of good practice and potential models for national replication in line with the UK’s targets of reducing carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd said “Innovative technologies are essential for the growth of the UK’s low carbon economy and we have schemes in place to help support entrepreneurs across the nation. There are a range of exciting projects underway here in the South West and it’s great to hear first-hand how businesses are embracing the opportunities on offer.”

Amy Robinson, Network Director of Low Carbon South West, the membership organisation for the low carbon sector said: “The South West continues to be a global leader in sustainability technology, because it knows how to develop and nurture innovative organisations and ideas. Having Energy and Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd and her DECC team here to discuss the needs of established and developing businesses through Low Carbon South West, and innovative new start-up businesses through SETsquared, is a great opportunity.”

Simon Bond, Innovation Director at SETsquared, added: “I am immensely proud of the way the South West is leading the UK’s low carbon sector. What is important is to give these innovative start-ups the support they need to turn their ideas and innovations into profitable businesses that contribute to the local and national economy. SETsquared and Low Carbon South West are doing just that and today was a fantastic opportunity to share our success stories with Amber Rudd MP.”

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