The Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI) and HSBC UK have launched a new four-year philanthropic partnership to support businesses across the West Midlands and beyond in developing services or technologies with potential for impact on climate change.

The BEI, part of the University of Birmingham, was established to shape the development of future energy solutions. It collaborates with industry, academia and policy-makers to support clean and smart energy developments.

In partnership with HSBC UK, the BEI will be able to extend and develop the programme of business support currently offered through projects such as ATETA and the Birmingham Energy Incubation Hub, operated in partnership with Tyseley Energy Park.

Businesses selected for support will have access to a number of linked opportunities:

  • Business engagement support through BEI’s ATETA programme. This programme, designed to help SMEs improve efficiency and test new ideas, offers access to research expertise and facilities as well as research and technical support from Knowledge Exchange Fellows.
  • Incubation space at either the University of Birmingham or Tyseley Energy Park, along with Incubator Project Management.
  • Access to a range of business development support, including financial planning, start-up mentoring, market research expertise, IP protection expertise, advice on regulation and standards, grant writing and bid development, and investor access support.

Much of the activity will be based at the Tyseley Energy Park, a zero carbon innovation park established by the University of Birmingham and the manufacturing company Webster and Horsfall. The Park operates in partnership with technology innovators, project developers and public sector bodies from across the West Midlands Region.

Professor Martin Freer, Director of the BEI, said: “In partnership with HSBC UK we can accelerate and expand our support for SMEs across the region. That means helping more businesses to make tangible progress in adopting zero carbon technologies while also growing their business and contributing to the regional economy.”

Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC UK said: “Start-up firms and next-generation technologies offer the promise of new approaches to cutting carbon emissions, but often face challenges to access the finance and business mentoring needed to scale-up.

“We will work with University of Birmingham to bring together a wide range of skill sets from across the bank and the wider industry to help start-ups progress through their respective accelerator programmes and beyond.”

The partnership is part of HSBC’s global Climate Solutions Partnership, which aims to unlock barriers to finance for companies and projects that tackle climate change to bring them to scale while also delivering for people and nature.

A select number of businesses from the BEI will go on to participate in HSBC’s global Climate Solutions Partnership innovation accelerator, powered by WWF’s Impactio platform, which will help further scale climate solutions, supporting business innovations in partnership with leading universities, research institutes, incubators and accelerators.