The Centre for Global Eco-innovation (CGE) was established in 2012 based on Lancaster University’s pioneering decision to place its world-class environmental research at the heart of driving innovation for Clean and Sustainable Growth.
From its foundation, the CGE anticipated challenges and opportunities that have subsequently become accepted as mainstream both in the UK and globally. In doing so, it has been ahead of the game in anticipating the future direction of government industrial and clean growth policies.
By developing the businesses and people vital for clean and sustainable growth, CGE is on the front line of the fight against climate change. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Centre breaks the mould of business-university interactions, demonstrating that world-class University researchers working with SME’s can deliver innovative environmental solutions at scale.
Research projects cover all business sectors and a variety of themes such as water, energy, waste, natural capital, food and resource efficiency. The Centre has diversified the University’s research funding (attracting income of nearly £26 million since 2012), whilst simultaneously creating a model for interdisciplinary research with businesses and enhancing student experience.
The Centre has supported more than 700 SMEs since 2012. An independent review of the Centre’s work estimated that between 2012 and 2018 it created more than 600 new jobs, some £45 million of gross GVA (Gross Value Added). The Centre’s targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and in water and material use were met and exceeded ahead of target.
Based on the challenge-led, solution driven CGE model, the Global Challenges Research Fund RECIRCULATE project supports African businesses and researchers to develop and deliver safe and sustainable water use. RECIRCULATE is led by the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University, with partners in Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, Malawi, Kenya and Zambia.
Case study: new product development with Typhon Treatment Systems Ltd
Typhon Treatment Systems is an innovative company, which designs and manufactures UV LED water treatment technology and equipment. The company has developed a patent pending design giving an optimised geometrical configuration of UV LEDs for use in high flow-rate biological and chemical water treatment. This has applications in the treatment of drinking water, wastewater and industrially processed water and has the potential to achieve energy savings of up to 90% compared to current methods.
Typhon Treatment Systems is part way through a three-year research project with Lancaster University to optimise the design, shape and performance of this system. Graduate Researcher Jainil Shah is working alongside Typhon Treatment Systems whilst completing a PhD at the Lancaster University Engineering Department.
“Jainil’s work is directly informing the final design of this product, allowing it to be taken to market as a fully optimised and integrated system.” – Matt Simpson, Managing Director of Typhon Treatment Systems