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New partnership to increase bioenergy funding opportunities for West Midlands SMEs

Tom Anderson EBRI

25 November 2014

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University has joined forces with Europe’s largest grants consultancy, PNO Group, to bring bioenergy funding expertise to SMEs in the West Midlands.


Bioenergy is one of the fastest growing and most attractive emerging markets for entrepreneurs and businesses in the UK, Europe and beyond.  By the end of the decade, the bioenergy sector is forecast to be worth more than £12 billion in the UK alone – more than 50 times the size of the UK market for electric vehicles.  Businesses need to be able to successfully identify and secure grant funding for research activities if they are to compete and grow within the rapidly expanding bioenergy market.  

Tom Anderson, Business Development Manager at EBRI, said, “Our ultimate aim is to help businesses and entrepreneurs to gain their share of this £12 billion market and to establish an internationally-competitive bioenergy supply chain in the West Midlands. Enabling SMEs in the region to secure funding for research activities to develop their business is a critical step towards this goal, and will increase the number of innovative businesses operating in the region.

“The process of securing public grants is complex, and can be extremely time-consuming and demanding for a small company with limited resources. Partnering with PNO Group, Europe’s leading grants consultancy, allows EBRI to bring invaluable expertise to businesses working in, or looking to develop into, the bioenergy sector.”

EBRI, whose experts have been undertaking bioenergy research for over 35 years, has already equipped over 90 businesses in the region with the skills and knowledge to respond to opportunities around bioenergy through its European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) backed-programme. In the past 18 months EBRI has worked with forward-thinking business leaders in construction, consultancy, engineering, financial services, investment and business development, land and property management, utilities and waste management who are eager to build up their knowledge and take full advantage of this complex, yet fast-growing, market.

EBRI and PNO Group are marking their new partnership with a free workshop at which West Midlands SMEs will be able to find out about funding streams available to them.  Delegates will learn about available funding opportunities (including Horizon2020, SMEI and Innovate UK), the benefits of R&D funding, how to developing grant winning projects, successful bid writing, and how to become involved in European projects.  The event will take place on Tuesday 2nd December, 9.30am – 2pm, and will be held at EBRI on the Aston University campus in the centre of Birmingham. Further information, including the registration link, is available from the EBRI website

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Notes to Editors

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI)

EBRI based at Aston University delivers world-class research into all aspects of bioenergy. EBRI has been established since 2007 and bioenergy research has been taking place at the University from as early as 1978. EBRI was recently awarded £8.2 million from the European Regional Development Fund to build a new world-class facility for West Midlands businesses working in bioenergy technologies and component supply chain manufacturers to try out, test and get ready for market new products and processes within this field.

www.bioenergy-midlands.org 

The European Regional Development Fund Programme

The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme which runs from 2007 to 2013. This is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development. The West Midlands ERDF Programme has been allocated €400 million to invest in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. Priority areas and themes for the West Midlands are: Innovation and Research & Development, Enterprise Development, Sustainable Urban Development, and Inter-Regional Activity.

www.communities.gov.uk/erdf

For further information about the workshop please contact Louise Ciaravella, Marketing & Communications Officer at the European Bioenergy Research Institute, on 0121 204 4637 or at l.ciaravella@aston.ac.uk