Sustainable Innovation

Sustainable Innovation was an ambitious initiative to connect small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with LSBU academics and develop new clean technology products and services. It comprised two projects: Access to Innovation (A2i); and Low Carbon London (LCLDN), which combined to offer over £4million of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to tackle barriers to innovation by SMEs by providing them with bespoke research and development support. Sustainable Innovation is now closed and no longer accepting applications. However, we can still explore the programme's goals and its innovative achievements.

The challenge

Many start-ups and small businesses lack the funding or access to facilities and resources necessary to develop their innovative ideas to the state of minimum viable products or services. LSBU academics have the expertise and experience to support the design, development, and testing of these new products and services. Here, we also have the access to the equipment, software, and facilities necessary to do so. What the academics often do not have access to is a group of SMEs with low carbon innovations under development.

Sustainable Innovation provided businesses with the opportunity to access the expertise and resources required to test and validate their innovations, whilst enabling academics to accomplish a real-life application for their research.

Project Aims

The aims of sustainable innovation were to:

⦁Develop sustainable solutions to reduce climate change;
⦁Create jobs in the low carbon sector in London and beyond;
⦁Deliver innovative low carbon research;
⦁Encourage low carbon innovation and entrepreneurship;
⦁Create a network of thriving businesses; and
⦁Provide businesses with introductions to additional funding and opportunities.

The project

Sustainable Innovation supported more than 100 businesses in London, under three main forms of assistance.

Business skills support: Businesses can attend our workshops and boot camps to help them develop their business skills. These workshops cover topics such as Market Research, Financial Modelling, and Business Model Canvas. Funding and Investment boot camps provide the opportunity to SMEs to pitch to potential investors.

Research collaboration: A business can be connected with an academic, to support the designing, building and testing of products, processes, and services. The support provided can range from a design review and desk research, to prototyping and product launch.

R&D subsidies: For advanced SMEs, we offer 40% subsidies for them to engage a new hire in a research and development roles, allowing the firms to expand their in-house capacity and expertise, to accelerate their product development journey.

Read more about Sustainable Innovation at LSBU.