A fund operated by the University of Derby and Derbyshire County Council which supports organisations to develop green energy and carbon reduction schemes has won a national award.
The Green Entrepreneurs Programme, which is a £2 million grant fund open to individuals and organisations looking to invest in and develop projects that support the drive towards the UK’s target of net zero carbon by 2050, was named Sustainability Innovation Champion – Organisation category at the Innovation Awards, organised by the Technology Supply Chain.
Among the organisations which have benefitted from funding is the Arkwright Society Ltd, which received a £198,000 grant towards reinstating renewable hydro energy at Cromford Mills.
The project has also been backed by the Severn Trent Community Fund and local businesses, including Vaillant.
Mark Wheddon, head of delivery, innovation and research at the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted to win this award in recognition of our partnership with Derbyshire County Council that supports so many innovative projects in the county as we move towards net zero carbon.
“It is inspiring to see the resourcefulness and creativity of individuals and organisations here in Derbyshire, and it is rewarding to be able to contribute towards initiatives that are making a real difference to our sustainable future.”
Councillor Tony King, the county council’s cabinet member for clean growth and regeneration, said: “We recognise the contribution our business community can make towards meeting our target of becoming a net zero county by 2050.
“We’re proud that through the Green Entrepreneurs Programme and our partnership with the University of Derby, we’ve been able to support local firms to develop green energy and cut carbon emissions as part of our net-zero ambitions.”
Dr Richard Fallon, chief executive of the Technology Supply Chain, said: “The Innovation Awards recognise, celebrate and reward innovation across the UK and internationally.
“Our winners are considered best-in-class, and it is a pleasure to celebrate their achievements.
“This is a great win for the work done by the University of Derby in supporting SMEs in their region with much needed green innovation.”