Innovation Funding For Business Drives Forward Net Zero Ambition

Business & Invest | Published on: 4th March 2024

A multi-million pound Innovate UK funding programme has helped Tees Valley deliver on its ambition to be a centre for Net Zero innovation after supporting multiple local businesses.

The Tees Valley Net Zero Launchpad was set up in 2022 as one of two pilots to provide small and medium-sized enterprises with grants to develop energy and renewables projects.

Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency and part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – has worked with the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority to support 23 projects with funding of between £60,000 and £800,000.

The successful schemes in industries including recycling, hydrogen and offshore wind were celebrated at a showcase event at the Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre at Teesside University.

Hartlepool-based renewable hydrogen firm Catalsys is among the companies to benefit from support, developing a unique ammonia cracking technology with the help of a Launchpad grant.

Darlington-based offshore wind firm Laytrix was backed in designing and building a prototype system to anchor floating offshore wind structures.

Since the pilot, Innovate UK has rolled out the scheme to a further eight Launchpads across the UK.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We are now firmly established as prime location for Net Zero industries such as offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.”

“Tees Valley was one of just two areas selected for the pilot and we have successfully delivered for businesses in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool by providing easier access to the funding they need to innovate and grow.”

The Launchpad funding was designed to build on innovation clusters which have significant growth potential and to deliver jobs, growth, and higher productivity, supporting Government’s Levelling Up agenda.

Tees Valley is at the forefront of the UK’s clean energy ambitions, with significant transformative projects already secured. For example, bp’s Net Zero Teesside project is aiming to help create the UK’s first decarbonised industrial cluster by 2040.

Sophie Walton, Tees Valley Business Board member for Science, Innovation and Technology and Director of Strategic Partnerships at CPI, said: “Ensuring smooth access to innovation support is crucial to the success of our businesses and this funding is making a real difference.

“We now want to build on this success and ensure as many of our start-ups and firms get the help they need on their Net Zero journeys.”

The Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre at Teesside University was part funded by TVCA to support innovation across the region and work towards the 2040 target.

Dr Gari Harris, Director of the Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre, said: “Through the Tees Valley Net Zero Launchpad scheme, Teesside University has worked with several innovative business to support their green ambitions.

“The NZIIC has been a major catalyst for green technologies in the Tees Valley and we were delighted to host this event and showcase how this region is taking a leading role in the UK’s green industrial revolution.”

A new webpage to ensure Tees Valley businesses have the right access to Net Zero Innovation funding and support, now and in the future, is available by visiting

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