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29 May 2024
NetZero Solutions

Net Zero Industry Wales to Deploy up to £7.5m of Funding to Support South West Wales Businesses to Decarbonise

Net Zero Industry Wales (NZIW) has successfully unlocked £7.5 million in funding to support SMEs from South West Wales to decarbonise.

The Innovate UK funding — secured by winning the Launchpad Cluster Management Office competition —  allows NZIW to lead the South West Wales Launchpad, supporting and awarding grants to projects in Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea.

Micro and small companies delivering projects in renewable energies, fuel switching, electrification and other areas of sustainability in the South West Wales region are encouraged to apply for the various funding rounds available through the launchpad.

One of these rounds includes the New Innovators competition — a partnership between Innovate UK and Welsh Government, which launched earlier this month.  It will enable UK registered micro and small businesses to apply for a share of up to £1.5 million to support projects which grow innovation activities in net zero industry in South West Wales.

Ben Burggraaf, CEO of Net Zero Industry Wales, said:

“The South West of Wales is renowned for its cluster in industrial decarbonisation, innovation and technology capability which creates highly skilled, productive jobs and opportunities, contributing to ambitions for net zero and industrial decarbonisation. We want to ensure that Welsh businesses and Welsh language speakers receive the support and opportunity they need during the transition to net zero — so their projects will be at the forefront of our consideration during the process.

“Through winning the Cluster Management Office Competition we can significantly advance innovation in developing and applying technologies in net zero and industrial decarbonisation in local or global markets — supporting our aim in making Wales the country of choice for sustainable goods and services.”

NZIW will focus on specifically expanding access to small and medium business in relation to decarbonisation projects within the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC), as well as the deployment of Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW)  with the aim of reducing 16 million tonnes of carbon emissions by 2024 and launching a green industrial revolution in the region.

With NZIW taking the lead on the project, it will be supported by a team of public and private sector partners, as well as the academic community, including; Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire County Council, Swansea Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Business in Focus, BIC Innovation, Catapult ORE, Afallen LLP, Swansea University and Net Zero Wales SWITCH initiative.

Dean Cook, Director of Place and Levelling Up at Innovate UK, said:

“The Launchpad programme delivers on Innovate UK’s commitment to drive local innovation and economic growth, supporting business clusters across the UK.

“Today, we are pleased to announce initial details on the businesses and projects to receive this investment. We are supporting businesses in South West Wales to develop and deploy innovative solutions in industries on the transition to net zero.

“Our investment will drive growth across the region and the UK by helping businesses to bring new innovations to market that are important for the whole economy and globally.”

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS said:

“It’s great news that Net Zero Industry Wales has been named as the Cluster Management Organisation to support the development of the Launchpad in South West Wales.

“The Welsh Government supported the establishment of NZIW as an independent body so that it could unlock exactly this type of investment opportunity. This is another step towards decarbonising Welsh industry and creating new jobs in the green industries of the future as part of a stronger, fairer, greener Wales.”

Councillor Jeremy Hurley, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economic Growth, said:

“This successful funding bid will help Neath Port Talbot and the rest of Wales build sustainable industries and jobs for the future which fits in perfectly with Neath Port Talbot Council’s long-term Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy strategy.”

Councillor Paul Miller, Deputy Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Place, the Region and Climate Change, said:

“The New Innovators in Net Zero Industry competition provides an opportunity for micro and small businesses working in Net Zero industries to engage with the South West Wales Launchpad. They will benefit from funding to support innovation activities in the workplace and contribute to economic growth in Pembrokeshire and across South West Wales.”

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