Climate Change Innovation Accelerator





Could your ideas tackle Climate Change impact?

Our Climate Change Innovation Accelerator responds to the potential impact of Coronavirus on the Climate Emergency. We’re looking at challenges specifically linked to reducing the carbon footprint of travel and work, whilst developing challenges around leisure, cycling and energy use for publication at a later date.

Whilst the public response to the Coronavirus crisis has led to a drop in harmful emissions, there is a risk that we will see an increase as the workforce and communities return to ‘normal’.

The Accelerator will run with a series of innovation challenges to better understand what the potential issues are and will offer one-to-one support to help businesses develop their ideas, access funding and take their solutions or services to market. The initial focus areas are:

  • Innovation around home working to ensure it is a viable option in the long term for many;
  • For those that can’t work at home, reducing the carbon footprint of commuting through innovation around usage of public transport in a social distancing world and encouraging the use of low emission vehicles;
  • Reducing the environmental footprint of on demand and home delivery services (last mile logistics).

What the North East has to say

To better understand all of the issues linked to the Climate Emergency and the impact of Covid-19, we recently asked our network how they thought their individual carbon footprint might change in the coming weeks and months.

  • 69% of respondents felt their overall carbon footprint would fall.
  • The largest decrease is expected to come from travel & transport, with 74% potentially travelling less.
  • 67% think the carbon footprint of their working lives will reduce.
  • However, just 41% expect to see the same reduction at home.
  • 53% of respondents think the carbon footprint of their leisure pursuits will also fall.

These results suggest there is a clear environmental opportunity following Coronavirus. Read our blog on maximising a green recovery.

Get Involved

We’ve surveyed our network across the North East and are looking at all of the research available to better understand the Climate Change issues we face in the wake of COVID-19. If you think you could develop a solution to these problems, or would like to offer up some insight on what the challenges are, register to take part in our opening design sprint on Tuesday 14th July.

Defining the Challenges

Tuesday 14th July

Join us for this half day online workshop to look more closely at the potential impact of Coronavirus on the Climate Emergency. We'll be focusing on home deliveries, public transport, electric vehicles and home working to begin with, and are keen to hear from anyone who thinks they can help us define what the problems in these areas are. Whether you're an academic, entrepreneur, innovative business, supplier or end user - your input could make a valuable contribution.
Funding & Support

For the Climate Change Innovation Accelerator we have identified partners we think provide a cross-section of funding opportunities. We have also developed a number of online webinars for accelerator businesses to help prepare them for the successful launch of their innovative products and services. To bring the accelerator to a close, we'll be hosting an investor pitch event through the Newcastle Angel Hub exclusively to help accelerator businesses secure equity investment for their ideas.
Think you've got a solution?

We'll be publishing full details of each challenge identified in our virtual design sprint soon. Once live, we'll be encouraging businesses and entrepreneurs to express their interest in developing solutions to this first wave of challenges.
Who is eligible to take part?

We’re inviting anyone with an interest or a perspective on the impact of Coronavirus on the Climate Emergency to take part in our virtual design sprint on Tuesday 14th July 2020.

Once we’ve defined the challenges to take forward, businesses and entrepreneurs based in the North East LEP area will be invited to express their interest.

Following this, 15 applicants will be selected to take part in the accelerator programme.