Midlands Engine event summary and presentations

Our evening event, kindly hosted by Eversheds focused on the opportunities for the region following the Midlands Engine announcement.

Victoria Lambert gave an update on the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF programme) which closes for applications on the 27th May.

MEBC are focusing supporting companies with their applications for priority 4.

Stephen Hill from the Eversheds Clean Energy Team updated us on their research into energy storage.
Eversheds are developing both residential and commercial storage solutions. With traditional energy generation methods coming to an end, we need to think about different storage methods to help balance the grid.

Martin Freer spoke about the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) which is a research programme which brings together skills across the region. The ERA covers 3 main research areas – Thermal, Integration and Geological.

Space heating and domestic space heating is the biggest UK challenge in terms of energy but globally cooling is the main problem – there are masses of export potential for UK businesses which ERA can support with.

Joel Cardinal from the University of Warwick gave us an update on their heat and power network which operates at 70% efficiency compared to 40% from the normal grid.

The University are focusing on 9 main research priorities, one of which is energy which they have split into the following focus areas: power electronics, solar energy, thermal efficiency, energy storage, energy management and low carbon transport.

Mike Colechin from the Energy Technologies Institute gave us an update on their Energy System Modelling Environment tool which works out optimal scenarios for the UK energy looking at the cheapest option.

The graph showed the energy scerario if we stick to an 80% reduction target and one if we don’t. We need to spend the next 10 years preparing for investment in the grid.

Suresh Patel from Birmingham City Council have us an update on their Business Growth Programme which aims to

  • Provide an integrated and comprehensive business support package across 3 LEPs
  • Improve business confidence, encourage private sector investment, accelerate economic growth and create new jobs
  • Develop competitive and sustainable supply chains
  • Stimulate innovation in “close-to-market” products and services
  • Facilitate relocation and expansion of SMEs

The BGP can be split into 4 funds – HS2 Supply Chain, Green Bridge, Business Innovation Programme and the Business Development Programme.

MEBC would like to thank all attendees for making this a great event.

The presentations can be viewed here

Victoria Kinally is a Researcher for the Midlands Environmental Business Company and UK Business Council for Sustainable Development. You can find out more information on her research specialities and contact details on her LinkedIn Page...