A £4m technology hub in Manchester will help create the next generation of carbon-neutral fuel cells, powering everything from cars to our homes.
Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre (MFCIC) has been awarded £1.6m by the European Regional Development Fund to house the latest equipment built to create green and emission-free energy.
The green fuel cell market is expected to grow by 10 per cent over the next eight years, and it is hoped this deal will establish the city as “a global centre of excellence”.
Based at Manchester Metropolitan University – who will fund the rest of the cost – it will be populated by 50 firms in the city’s low-carbon SME sector over a three-year period.
More than 2,000 companies in Manchester currently provide low-carbon and environmental goods, employing roughly 38,000 people.
The university launched the Greater Manchester Hydrogen Partnership in 2013, and it is hoped this venture will build on that – benefiting from the expertise of academics and businesses in the area.
Dr David Lambrick, the Faculty of Science and Engineering’s interim pro-vice-chancellor, told BQ: “The big challenge for the 21st century is how we create a sustainable future while meeting demand for energy, which will only continue to rise in the coming years.
“Fuel cells are a fundamental part of the hydrogen economy.
“We now have the MFCIC to break down the barriers for hydrogen-focused SMEs to access the technology to make the next generation of fuel cells to become a reality.”
The project will begin in December and is scheduled for completion in December 2017.
Manchester is the perfect alternative to London when setting up a digital business, according to those who have already made the leap north.