FREED will develop a new service, by the means of which SME’s in the region can access innovation in energy technologies otherwise not be available within the NPA region. FREED will also facilitate the transfer of technology innovations to SME’s across the area, so that the outputs of the project will widely benefit the region. It will achieve this because it provides a unique access private investment, which is the key determinant of success in stimulating innovation. This partnership offers something that will not be available to any other project offered to the NPA by virtue of its access to private investment, and is also unique in being integrated with existing innovation programmes. FREED enhances these without in any way duplicating existing programmes, and this capacity is acknowledged in letters of support. Thus FREED offers NPA the unique capability of attracting innovation to the region, as a result of the practical commitment to funding evidenced through the partnership. There is already clear connection with innovations developed by Sustainable Ventures in London, covering energy storage, electric vehicle hire, and provision of journey data, some or all of which could be made available to SME’s in the NPA region in the right circumstances; all of which will be of benefit to NPA communities; and which will be of benefit to enterprise and job creation. Other innovations in energy are already on the radar with the partnership making this application – but are not available to SME’s in the NPA region currently. In this way, FREED can enhance existing innovation programmes within the NPA region, which lack this power to attract innovation from outside the region and, as such, is a precise fit for the objectives of Priority 1.
Expected Results (EN):
Degree of collaborations between SMEs and R&D
Expected Outputs (EN):
The main project result will be development of SME business innovation in the NPA region, serving the needs of the NPA communities throughout the region with particular (though not necessarily exclusive) reference to energy sectors. FREED is designed to improve the innovation environment within the NPA Region and encourage more outward-looking attitudes towards innovation across the region.
•It will introduce innovations not otherwise available to the region.
•It will attract entrepreneurs who would not otherwise seek to do business in the region.
•It will stimulate private investment in the region’s economy which would otherwise be made in other regions
Partner 4, Green Angel Syndicate, is already making investments in energy innovations, but all are outside the NPA region. Its pipeline includes companies which are seeking investment for innovations that could be useful for the NPA region, and could be encouraged to open up markets in the NPA region, as well as transferring enterprise creation to the NPA region. Sustainable Ventures, for example, an Associate Partner in the project, provides access to at least 3 innovations that are already available to the partnership. FREED makes this possible, where currently there is no adequate support for the entrepreneurial acitivity.
FREED will achieve this by means of a practical programme that achieves the following results:
Innovations introduced to the partner regions: 30 reviewed, of which 6 will be selected
Innovation transfers to SME’s in the partner regions: 6 transferred to 5 partner regions = 30 transfers
Commercial development plans to introduce products new to the market: 30 plans
Business plans to introduce products new to the firm: 30 plans
Enterprises receiving support: At least 6 in each of 5 partner regions = 30 enterprises
The Work Programme is designed to work with existing innovation programmes and local SME’s and indeed to create new SME’s to deliver energy innovations for target groups that include the market sectors in the NPA Regions that are most in need of innovation, especially relating to energy . In other words, these are stakeholders (SME’s) belonging to different categories such as commercial, trade, public bodies, leisure and tourism, as well as local Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Agencies, and residential; all of which are affected by the problems of accessibility, low population density, low economic diversity and the impacts of climate change.
The project will develop a scheme that will expose and explore innovations that will otherwise be invisible to the NPA region. The concrete plan will start with an open Invitation to Tender for energy technology innovation.
FREED will thereby provide a service that results in the creation of at least 6 new revenue streams in SME’s in each of the 5 partner regions from the introduction of innovations in energy sectors for markets throughout the NPA region and beyond.