Middleton hydroponic supplier benefits from new green innovation fund
Date published: 03 March 2022
Evoponic, based in Middleton, manufactures plant additives for the hydroponics sector
A Middleton hydroponics equipment supplier is one of 27 businesses across Greater Manchester to have benefitted from a new green innovation fund.
Evoponic, based in Middleton, manufactures plant additives for the hydroponics sector (growing plants without soil), drawing upon cutting-edge global science and dedicated UK R&D to design and tailor unique formulations to boost plant performance and resilience.
Businesses, charities and social enterprises in the county can get up to 60% funding towards projects worth £25,000 to help them deliver sustainable products, processes or services.
The £400,000 grant scheme is managed by Eco-I North West (NW), a £14 million research and development programme which gives SMEs access to a regional knowledge base, cutting-edge research facilities and skills involving six of the region’s leading universities - Cumbria, Lancaster, Central Lancashire, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores and Manchester Metropolitan.
Since its launch two years ago, more than 100 enterprises, including 27 in Greater Manchester, have collaborated with universities to test their ideas which could help solve global challenges such as water supply and quality, waste, energy, resource efficiency, natural capital, air quality, and food security.
These new grants will accelerate these low carbon innovations from research to commercialisation by match funding prototypes, pilots and demonstration systems.
Wilson Boardman, chairman and technical director of Evoponic, said: “Our joint sponsorship of the research is rapidly building the weight of evidence in support of the safe use of benign biostimulants to create healthier and more nutritious food, improved use of fertilisers, along with shortened growing seasons, whilst facilitating big reductions in pesticide usage.
“Evoponic is proud to be in partnership with the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation generating information that can influence hydroponic and vertical farming food production for the good of the whole planet.”
Eco-I NW aims to work with more than 300 SMEs, supporting the development of 135 new innovative solutions which will save 3,850 tonnes of CO2.
Andy Pickard, Manager of the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, which delivers the Eco-I NW programme, said: “Eco-I NW opens up such a huge academic regional resource to SMEs. It offers the opportunity for the North West to create an ecosystem which accelerates our transition to a low carbon economy. This is a scheme which should allow businesses to access grants quickly and try new things.
“I would encourage leaders of SME enterprises in the North West to start a conversation with us about how Eco-I NW could help to reduce costs and their carbon footprint, improve performance, and future proof their business in a low carbon future.”
“More than 100 enterprises from a wide range of sectors, disciplines and project themes are already collaborating with the partner universities and could double their potential return on R&D investment.
“These grants will further support those already working with the universities, and expand the benefits Eco-I NW can offer to even more SMEs to bring to market even more sustainable products, processes or services.”
To find out more about the programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), visit www.lancaster.ac.uk/eco-i-nw/capital-grant-scheme/
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