Three projects aimed at lowering carbon emissions are to benefit from a new round of grant funding.
Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has allocated up to £105,000 from its Low Carbon Grant Fund to the group to help them develop new products and services.
The funding will be used to undertake feasibility work for products that can support the decarbonisation of the region’s economy.
The recipients are Energym, IPV Flexgen and a partnership of the Confederation for British Metalforming, University of Birmingham and Kelvin Thermotech which will receive up to £35,000 each.
Energym is a precision engineering start-up in Birmingham and will use the grant to accelerate the development of its indoor fitness bike RE:GEN.
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It captures and converts human power into clean electricity for charging electronic devices.
The team has secured patent design certifications and is preparing for a wider rollout of the bike to ensure it is compatible with fitness apps such as Zwift.
IPV Flexgen is using its grant to develop the Brandon Reach Gateway site on the A46 in Coventry.
This new facility will develop a renewable-powered, microgrid system connected to a farming facility to grow crops and generate power, combining a number of low-carbon technologies including solar panels and hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Finally, in a move to address productivity and efficiency challenges faced by metal forming companies in the Black Country, the Confederation for British Metalforming and its partners will explore waste heat recovery solutions using composite ‘phase change materials’.
These can capture high-grade waste heat which can be stored and used later on in industrial processes that require lower temperatures.
Research by the University of Birmingham indicates this technology could even open up opportunities to trade heat across the region to respond to local needs.
Councillor Ian Courts, net zero board champion at GBSLEP, said: “The Low Carbon Grant Fund was launched last year to provide innovators with early-stage funding during the challenging economic conditions caused by the global pandemic.
“This regional innovation will help the region continue to grow its low-carbon sector while also supporting the Government’s national commitment to achieve net zero by 2050 and the West Midlands Combined Authority target of 2041.
“Unlocking growth in the low-carbon sector is crucial to delivering local, regional and national decarbonisation targets as well as delivering new investment and creating jobs.
“Recent analysis from the Midlands Energy Hub indicates that up to 168,000 low carbon jobs could be created by 2050 to deliver on national Net Zero targets.”