We speak to experts in the climate community about climate innovation developments in their local city.
London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Dublin are all gaining attention in the UK as “climate innovation clusters” – cleantech, climate innovation hubs stimulating local economies and cutting emissions by sharing knowledge and resources, and focusing on regional strengths.
We asked our experts this week “What are the climate innovation strengths of your city and how are these strengths being developed?”
“The West Midlands is a diverse region with traditional strengths in manufacturing, energy and automotive sectors and a growing reputation in the creative, digital and life sciences sectors. Through the Energy Capital initiative we’re building a cluster of innovative businesses bridging the smart clean energy and mobility industries, with a particular emphasis on energy storage: we aim to build a position of leadership in the $3trn global smart energy market.
We see the diversity and traditions of our region as major assets – from the automotive heritage of Coventry and the east to the innovative workshops and manufacturing businesses of the Black Country. In the centre of our region Birmingham and Solihull provide a concentrated urban market for climate innovations and we’re already using this as a launchpad for innovations working with the six major universities in the region.”
– Matthew Rhodes, Managing Director of Encraft and GBSLEP Board lead on energy and innovation
“The municipality of Utrecht is working to make the city a hub of sustainability and innovation. At the heart of our innovation work is a profound transformation of Utrecht Central Station. This ensures that the city’s accessibility by public transportation is future-proof, since Utrecht is growing fast. Sustainable growth is realised by metropolitan building within the city limits, without an increase of cars. Our starting point is energy neutrality and circular construction, and we provide excellent connections for both cyclists and pedestrians. Climate-KIC’s Smart Sustainable Districts programme [which we are part of] fits perfectly with these ambitions for a healthy and sustainable central station area. ”
– Victor Everhardt, Alderman, Municipality of Utrecht
“The Municipality of Reggio Emilia has been recently involved in many “data-driven” projects, focused on improving the detailed knowledge of energy performance/consumption/production at buildings level on the whole territory. Some data have been recently made available (here and here) as open data thanks to the GeoSmartCity project. The strengths of Reggio Emilia are focused on people and openness as the heart of developing a real “data-driven smart city”.”
– Piergiorgio Cipriano, Business Analyst, Dedagroup Public Services
Climate innovation clusters – built around local competitive advantages in the new climate economy – have a vital role to play both in creating jobs and growth, and in increasing the rate of change to a low-carbon, climate-resilient society and net zero-carbon economy. A new series of expert insights argue that stimulating climate innovation clusters should be at the heart of job creation, growth and export plans at all levels of government.