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 and have brought more than 40 individuals together to discuss the Climate Change challenges facing us all in a post-Coronavirus world. The challenges are now defined and we’re asking any companies, innovators or entrepreneurs who would like to take part to express their interest by Monday 27th July 2020.

Challenge descriptions

On 14th July we held a virtual design sprint bringing together more than 40 innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, experts, and industry leaders to discuss the challenges in more depth. We've summarised some of the key discussion points for anyone interested in learning more, or who would like to develop a solution to the problems facing public transport, home working, home deliveries and ultra low emission vehicles.
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?

Apply now!

The problem statements have now been defined, and we're encouraging anyone who thinks they can rise to the challenge to submit an expression of interest by Monday 27th July.
Who is eligible to take part?

The Climate Change Innovation Accelerator is open to SMEs located in the North East LEP area. Successful applicants will be asked to declare their status as an SME based on this criteria.

15 companies will be selected to take part in the accelerator programme.