Birmingham University generates nearly £25m for the economy by providing energy support for SMEs

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UNIVERSITY of Birmingham’s Energy Institute SME engagement programme has generated a net income of almost £25 million for the regional economy.

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, ATETA (Accelerating Thermal Energy Adoption) provides eligible businesses with access to the University of Birmingham’s research facilities and expertise, giving them the opportunity to test new technologies and applications.

The support provides businesses with the opportunity to collaborate with an experienced team of Knowledge Exchange Fellows to improve their research and development and identify new market opportunities.

Speaking about the success of supporting over 100 companies in under two years, Business Engagement Manager for ATETA, David Terry, said: “We are delighted that the success of our work with regional businesses has had made such an impact to the regional economy.

“ATETA is an excellent project that can help businesses adopt new technology and overcome energy-related challenges and we look forward to continuing our work with SMEs.”

A recent assessment of the ATETA project by EPM Consultancy revealed 74% of the businesses supported had made progress in bringing a new product or service to market.

The assessment also reported that for every £1 invested in the project, the net economic impact for ATETA equated to £24,796,000.

Speaking of the support report received, Paul Hutchens, Founder and CEO of Eco2Solar, added: “ATETA project provided us a thorough report which helped us to understand the impact of new legislation on our market.

“It provided evidence for us. We are now responding to a consultation based on the findings.

“It will assist us in growing the market for solar PV.”

Any SMEs wishing to find out more about receiving support from ATETA for their own businesses are invited to their ‘Energy Opportunities for West Midlands Industry’ event on Tuesday 25 February.