Two industrial research and development partnerships awarded funding for low carbon projects

Exterior of Technology & Innovation Centre.

A US-headquartered green metals technology company and a British-based electric aircraft manufacturer have each received funding to establish research and development partnerships with the University of Strathclyde.

Neocycl, based in Kentucky, and Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace have each received £10,000 from the Scottish Inward Investment Catalyst Fund to work with the University on two separate projects that will support net zero ambitions.

Neocycl will work with experts from Strathclyde to assess the performance of its low carbon copper recovery process, while Vertical Aerospace will use expertise from the University to analyse and develop an understanding of degradation of carbon fibre when carrying electric current.

Sustainable economy

Launched in December 2021 by Interface and the Scottish Government with a total of £100,000 over two rounds this year, the Scottish Inward Investment Catalyst Fund is aimed at attracting businesses to invest in Scotland by establishing research and development partnerships with universities.

Gillian Docherty, Chief Commercial Officer at the University of Strathclyde, said: “These two new research and development projects are wonderful examples of industry and academia combining their expertise and working in partnership to solve real-world challenges that can help businesses to grow while contributing towards the journey to net zero and a more sustainable economy.”

Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, said: “Attracting businesses to invest in Scotland is a key driver of the Scottish Government’s long-term economic wellbeing and prosperity ambitions.

“EY's Annual Attractiveness Survey 2022 showed Scotland has already established itself as the UK’s top performing region for attracting inward investment, outside of London. For Scotland to remain competitive in the current challenging climate, we need ongoing close collaboration between our higher education institutions and industry in areas of our academic strengths.

The projects chosen for the current phase of the Inward Investment Catalyst Funding align with the opportunity areas identified in our Inward Investment Plan, demonstrating that our evidence-based Plan to attract values-based investment is working.

“These projects also support the ambitions set out in our National Strategy for Economic Transformation to attract high quality inward investment and technologies required in emerging areas such as energy transition and the decarbonisation of transport and space.”

Highly innovative

Howell Davies, Sector and Business Engagement Manager, Interface, said: “These projects are highly innovative and technical. They reflect the world-leading expertise Scottish universities have to offer international companies, particularly in key areas such as energy transition and decarbonisation of heat and transport.”

Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise, Interface is a free and impartial service which aims to stimulate demand for innovation and help companies to collaborate with academics to solve business challenges.