The Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO) was delighted to host the Clean Futures Accelerator’s first cohort Insight Day in its brand new Meeting and Event Spaces on Monday 13th November.
The event was held to introduce the first cohort of winners who will be developing clean tech solutions for the rail and automotive industries, at the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre (VLRNIC) and Coventry University respectively, to relevant industry stakeholders (Challenge Setters) and Investors.
Winning SMEs were able to present their elevator pitches to Challenge Setters and potential Investors in the venue’s 130-seater Auditorium.
For the Challenge Setters, the event provided the opportunity to view and feedback on the winning solutions and consider how they can work to directly address the industry challenges they identified back in June.
For Investors, the event provided the opportunity to view and feedback on the winning solutions and identify potential high growth investable businesses within the West Midlands region.
Attendees saw pitches from the following SMEs:
Based at and receiving support from BCIMO
1. AceOn Group
5. PowerUp Off-Grid Services
6. Harry Needle Railroad Company and Advanced Hydrogen Technologies
7. Universal Signalling
8. Varamis Rail
Based at and receiving support from Coventry University
11. Intelligent Power Generation (trading as IPG Energy
13. Global Nano Network
14. Duck Tours (trading as Seahorse Amphibious Vehicles)
15. TaiSan Energy
16. Newreg (trading as car.co.uk)
17. White Motorcycle Concepts
Based at Coventry University but receiving commercial support from BCIMO
19. Composite Braiding Ltd
After the pitches, SMEs gathered in the centre’s Exhibition Hall for feedback forums and networking before splitting into sector-specific welcome breakout sessions.
Following the success of the Insight Day, the BCIMO and Coventry University delivery teams are now busily preparing for the arrival of the winning SMEs on site to help kickstart their journey from concept to successful realisation of green products and services. Each business will now receive a bespoke business needs assessment and action plan to help ensure the commercial viability of their innovative solution and bring their product to market.
Winners involved in the rail sector will be granted access to BCIMO’s unique Rail Development and Test Site, offering an extensive range of facilities to support the development and testing of future rail technologies.
At the end of the programme in April 2024, the Clean Futures Accelerator will host a ‘Demo Day’ where the winners will be able to showcase their solutions and results of their trials in front of a tailored audience of end-users and investors. There will be a focus on celebrating the success of the accelerator and building valuable connections for the cohort.
A second cohort of SMEs will then be invited to apply for the next round of the Accelerator which will commence mid-2024.
Discussing the event, Naomi Arblaster, Head of SME Development, said:
“It was fantastic to see such a great turnout for the Clean Futures Accelerator’s first cohort Insight Day. The collaboration between industry stakeholders, investors, and innovative SMEs showcased the transformative potential of clean tech solutions for the rail and automotive industries. It has been a pleasure to learn more about these ground-breaking innovations and the strategic partnerships that will be formed during this collaborative programme.
Naomi added: “The commitment of the winning SMEs and the support from the accelerator partners reinforce our collective dedication to driving sustainable advancements in future transport solutions. This initiative sets the stage for a dynamic and prosperous future in clean technology for the both the West Midlands and the wider UK.”
The Clean Futures Accelerator is being led by Connected Places Catapult in collaboration with the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO), Coventry University and CU Services Ltd. The programme forms part of the wider West Midlands Innovation Accelerator delivered in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority, Innovate UK, UK Research and Innovation, and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
The Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO) is a not-for-profit Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) and operator of the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre (VLRNIC), a unique, world-class centre for rail innovation based in Dudley in the West Midlands.