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Strathclyde secures funding for low carbon SME projects

A plane on the runway

Two projects involving the University of Strathclyde have received funding from Scottish Enterprise’s Low Carbon Challenge Fund.

The Low Carbon Challenge Fund is a partnership between the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise with total investment of £2.79 million with £1.39 million from the European Regional Development Fund and match-funding from the projects.

The University of Strathclyde is leading one project which will help the aerospace, rail and renewables sector to address the challenges around life extension and repurposing of assets and builds on linked projects.

The university will work with companies across Scotland to support their journey from identifying opportunities to reduce waste to demonstrating the process towards a circular economy.

Green practices

Dr David Butler, Reader in the Department of Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management, said: “The project provides for timely intervention and support for SMEs who wish to engage the three sectors and benefit from the opportunities arising from aircraft decommissioning and the life time extension of rail rolling stock and onshore wind turbines.

“With the  drive towards the Scottish Government’s net-zero targets it is important that we look for environmentally sustainable routes to develop new products and services which demonstrate best green practices and encourage reuse rather than disposal at the end of the product life cycle.”

A second project, led by the University of St Andrews, and partnering with Strathclyde will assist companies throughout the hydrogen supply chain from fuel cell manufacturers to energy specialists to create a strong Scottish original equipment manufacturing (OEM) base.   

The project builds on wider strategic initiatives around the Scottish Government’s hydrogen action plan and hydrogen policy statement.

The fund was set up last year and provided opportunities for public, third sector and academic institutions to, in turn, develop projects for SMEs to support low carbon innovation and manufacturing capabilities across Scotland.

Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Linda Hanna said: “The Low Carbon Challenge Fund is a catalyst to support economic opportunities in Scotland and nurture businesses to develop net zero products, processes and services.  

“I look forward to seeing these pioneering projects take shape as they have the potential to transform the way companies work whether it is reducing manufacturing waste, future-proofing transport to developing new hydrogen products.

“The three successful projects will harness the expertise of public sector partnerships and engage businesses in Scotland towards the transition to a net zero nation.”

The university will establish a business advice service, seminars and provide access to testing equipment in addition to supporting early stage prototyping to identify innovation opportunities.