A pioneering new £1.1m project is promising to help West Midlands’ automotive companies tackle the burning issue of energy usage.
Accelerate’s growing reputation for delivering excellent business support has been extended with the delivery of ‘Intelligent Energy’, a European initiative aimed at educating companies in how to reduce costs and improve profitability by embracing the latest academic and industry knowledge.
Over 22 partners from 7 EU regions are involved in the groundbreaking programme and each individual member will be responsible for sharing best practice in a bid to develop a sustainable approach to a subject that is costing manufacturing millions of pounds every year.
NEAC’s Kishor Pala, who was instrumental in developing the bid, explained:
“The West Midlands has a fantastic opportunity to be at the forefront of efficient energy usage and this will not only give immediate performance benefits, but also place us in a great position going forward.
“Bearing in mind the European nature of the programme, the first task is to find out exactly how each different country deals with the energy problem and then compile the best bits in an action plan going forward.”
He continued: “Following an official launch on the 2nd and 3rd April, the first part of this will be the production of a module-based training programme, which will eventually equip 25 business advisers with the necessary skills to add specialist ‘energy efficient’ support to their existing portfolio of expertise.”
Funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Agency, the project is looking to use the West Midlands automotive cluster as a starting point for its activity, which will eventually grow to encompass metal procession, wood and furniture, healthcare and tourism.
It is intended that by combining the experience of leading business support organisations with industry-minded academic institutions and agencies, a unique knowledge supply-chain can be created for transcending advice to companies in different countries.
At the heart of this will be a specially designed energy audit tool, which, by the end of the thirty-three month project, will be completed by over 220 companies.
“We have heard for some time now about the pressures and financial implications of energy usage, so this is a genuine opportunity for manufacturers to get involved and shape the level of support on offer in the future,” continued Kishor.
“Raising energy awareness, saving energy, increasing efficiency of its use and the share of renewables, reducing emissions, increasing SME competitiveness, foster investments in sustainable energy methodologies and sustainable development - all these issues are starting points of the project.”
He went on to add: “From this initial work, we are hoping that we could save companies thousands of pounds every year, not to mention provide them with a helping hand to meeting their environmental objectives.”
Other aims set to come out of Intelligent Energy include the production of quarterly newsletters, a sustainable web-based benchmarking questionnaire and the first ever SME Energy Awards focusing on achievements in the field of ‘Buildings and Facilities’ and ‘Production Processes’.
To get involved, please contact Craig Taylor on 0121 607 0123 or email ctaylor[.]accelerate.uk.net