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Green Innovation Funding awarded to projects

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Six projects have received funding through our Green Innovation Fund.

More than £750,000 is being invested to support innovative projects and technologies which will drive green growth in Devon’s economy.

The grants are supporting Devon’s transition to a Net Zero economy by creating economic growth alongside environmental benefits. By generating new jobs and training opportunities within the low carbon sector and supporting small businesses to implement sustainable change, the Green Innovation Fund bolsters our commitments to both economic prosperity and tackling the climate emergency. The projects are forecast to save around 100,000 tonnes of carbon over the next ten years.

The Green Innovation Fund is funded through our £6million recovery programme which aims to support four key areas during the recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic: small and medium enterprises, employment and skills, the green recovery, and the hardest hit towns and communities.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, said:

“Green technology is a high growth area with the potential to become an important economic driver in our county, so investing in new technologies and concepts can play a key role in helping Devon to build back better. The targeted Green Innovation Funding support in these projects has the potential to not only make meaningful changes to communities across Devon in the short-term, but also to act as a launch-pad for more far-reaching interventions that achieve carbon saving and economic benefits.”

The projects being supported through the Green Innovation Fund are:

Circular Carbon Project by Bird Eyewear – Bird Eyewear is working with the Green Innovation Fund to develop new, 100% circular products created in partnership with other Devon businesses using locally-sourced “waste”. The Exeter based company will also embark on a consumer education project which details the environmental impact of each product they sell, sharing this knowledge and expertise with the local communities and other small Devon retailers. They will deliver this via Chambers of Commerce and FSB talks and an outreach programme with schools.

Ed Bird, Director, Bird Eyewear, said: “Sustainable growth is crucial for a recovering world, and it’s fantastic to be working with Devon County Council on such an innovative project. Our goal is to pioneer new circular systems in our industry and shine a light on local opportunities. ”

Cylo® by Remit Zero Ltd – the super-efficient hot water and heating system developed by the Exeter Science Park based company uses renewable energy from the grid when it’s cheapest to reduce carbon emissions and heating bills. Cylo offers a zero-emission heating system that is easy to install, durable, and recyclable at the end of its life. The Green Innovation Funding will help fund the creation of a new lab and the domestic roll-out to support the development and refinement of the system.

Andrew Slaney, Managing Director, Remit Zero, said: “The cylo® vessel will change the way many families and businesses heat their homes and premises; a simple, innovative, affordable, and rapidly deployable heating solution which will help reduce CO2 emissions rapidly, while maintaining the user’s comfort and convenience.”

Launching Devon’s One-Stop-Shop for Business Decarbonisation by EPConnect – EPConnect has partnered with established Community Energy Companies across Devon to create a service that provides businesses with the resources and information required to reduce their energy usage and costs. Green Innovation Funding will help them launch this service and begin the roll-out of their “Energy Service Company Model” (ESCO), which uses an innovative financing model to allow SMEs to improve their energy efficiency and transition to renewable energy sources affordably.

Alex Rathmell, Managing Director, Consultancy, EnergyPro Ltd, said: “Devon has one of the most active community energy sectors in the country. Groups across the county are responding to the climate emergency and the energy crisis by delivering renewable energy projects and energy-saving home retrofits for their communities. Thanks to the Green Innovation Fund grant from Devon County Council, we are working with these groups to establish a new service that will allow local businesses to play their part too. A new ‘one-stop-shop’ will launch in October this year, providing end-to-end support for businesses to identify and implement energy efficiency and clean energy measures, reducing their impact on the environment and boosting profitability and resilience at the same time. The new service will be delivered by local people and local companies, ensuring Devon’s economy starts to benefit from the transition to net zero.”

Marine Zero Emission Propulsion by EVParts Ltd – EVParts, based in Ilfracombe, has a track record in delivering nationally recognised low-carbon marine projects, designing and building electric batteries for marine vehicles. The Green Innovation Funding will support the development of electric batteries for larger boats, creating high quality jobs and testing equipment to make their innovative designs commercially viable. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, this project will improve air and water quality, as well as lowering noise pollution, making marine environment better for both wildlife and tourism.

Brad Bunyard, Director, EVParts Ltd, said: “The Green Innovation funding enables EVParts to bring a locally designed and produced zero emissions marine propulsion system to the market. This will provide much needed opportunities for new skilled jobs in North Devon and will also support local marine businesses.”

Recycling Used EV Batteries by Altilitech Ltd – Tavistock based Altilitech is using its wealth of global experience in the mining industry to extract value from waste EV batteries. The grant will enable the business to pilot its patented technology to recycle spent EV batteries, allowing them to recover more raw materials than any previous method. The creation of a circular economy model for critical metals supports the transition to electrification required for Net Zero, while reducing the need for further mining.

Dr Christian Marston, Director, Altilitech Ltd, said: “The Green Innovation fund is key for us to scale-up the technology, which has been verified under a 3-year research project with the University of Plymouth. Recycling promotes a circular economy preventing spent batteries going to landfill and causing environmental damage.”

Wilder Farming for Wider Gains by Farm Wilder CIC – Farm Wilder is a CIC which works with farmers to assist them in the transition to regenerative and wildlife-friendly agricultural models. It currently has greater demand for sustainably produced meat than they can supply and is looking to scale-up rapidly. With Green Innovation Funding, it will deliver training and create networks among farmers across Devon to enable them to meet its certification standards to allow access to this growing market. This will provide much-needed support to Devon’s agricultural sector while restoring habitats and meeting consumer demand.

Luke Dale-Harris, Director, Farm Wilder, said: “With Devon County Council funding, we will be able to scale up our business to meet the growing demand for ethically and environmentally produced meat while working with farmers to help them to enhance habitats and adopt regenerative farming methods. This will support Devon’s agricultural sector while providing consumers with a high quality product that promotes biodiversity in the region.”