The annual Lancashire Innovation Festival this month will place a spotlight on energy, low carbon & finance.

The event at AMRC North West in Samlesbury on October 13th will bring startups, scaleups and SMEs from across the county together with innovation experts, universities, support agencies and policymakers.

Leading on the energy and low carbon theme will be the AMRC North West and RedCAT technology hub in East Lancashire. Both will be demonstrating how innovative interventions can help businesses reduce their energy usage and carbon footprint, while simultaneously boosting their productivity. 

There will also be a series of discussion panels exploring the issue of sustainability, with contributions from CEO of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, and the LEP’s low carbon lead, Miranda Barker OBE. 

In addition, Iain Martin, AMRC North West’s Theme Lead for Low Carbon Smart Buildings, will be talking delegates through the AMRC’s Low Carbon Smart Building Demonstrator, a facility which helps manufacturers reduce their emissions by retrofitting digital technologies onto legacy equipment and reimagining the traditional factory floor.

Delegates will also get the chance to tour the AMRC North West, and discover more innovation-led solutions to the challenges of net zero.  

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Following a break for lunch, the afternoon’s discussions and presentations will be focused on finance. 

Led by the British Business Bank’s North West senior manager, Delyth Edwards, the first session will look at how the British Business Bank, and other government-backed finance programmes, can support innovative Lancashire businesses looking to grow. 

This will be followed by sessions hosted by Innovate UK, and the new Lancashire Funding Hub, which will explore the wider funding and finance landscape. Lancashire businesses who themselves have benefited from such funding programmes will be on hand to share their insights and advice with delegates.

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The event is being delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank – which recently announced details of its Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II (NPIF II), a £660 million investment fund which will support the growth of SMEs across the North of England from early 2024 – and supported by Lancashire County Council’s Innovate Lancashire initiative and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Innovation Board.

This year’s festival will be introduced by Graham Baldwin, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire, and Chair of the Lancashire Innovation Board.

“The Lancashire Innovation Festival continues to go from strength to strength, and this year’s focus on finance, energy and low carbon highlights how it continues to address the issues which really matter to Lancashire businesses,” he said.

“I will also be taking the opportunity share with delegates details of the new Lancashire Innovation Plan, and highlight some of the opportunities set to be offered by incoming projects like the National Cyber Force and Eden Project Morecambe. Further, I’ll be outlining how innovation doesn’t have to be hi-tech, complicated, or expensive, to be commercially effective.”

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