£9.8million eco innovation centre to be established in North West

A new global eco innovation centre is to be established in the North West to bolster the region's economy in key export markets and drive forward improvements in green technologies.

The £9.8million Centre for Global Eco Innovation, led by Lancaster University in partnership with the University of Liverpool, is to receive £4.9m of funding from the European Regional Development Fund's North West operational programme to provide research and development expertise to hundreds of the region's companies which are working to find solutions to environmental problems. The virtual centre will provide more than 285 regional companies with expert help to develop new, greener products and services resulting in significant savings in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, water, waste and energy. Working with businesses across a range of sectors including chemicals, environmental technologies, digital and high value manufacturing, the centre aims to deliver a significant number of new jobs to the region making a measurable contribution to the region's economic recovery. More than 50 graduates will be recruited between the two universities, who will work on a range of research and development projects in partnership with business. The graduates will use these collaborations as the basis of a PhD programme of study. The centre will be formally launched in spring 2012 and the first cohort of 50 graduates will join the centre in October 2012 for three years. It will take a strong focus on international markets and a number of the graduates are anticipated to be recruited from overseas. The centre will recruit an initial cohort of 50 companies to work with these graduates by October 2012, with each company also making a financial contribution.