The smart energy system will deliver intelligent and efficient local energy supplies and has already attracted interest from international companies such as Hitachi, which has established a presence in the county. Cornwall has also been working closely with the Taiwanese Institute of Economic Research and the Korean Smart Grid Institute and has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in place with the Jeollanam-do Province, Korea.
The Smart Cornwall Business Development project has been working closely with small enterprises to inform them on how to benefit from the project. Thirty businesses have benefitted from assistance provided by the project to date, ranging from marketing and promotion of smart energy systems to a review of future smart energy investment opportunities.
The project has drawn upon the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) support for Enterprise & Investment to encourage sector development, in particular the growth of the environmental technologies sector to create a major new industry in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly. Its focus has so far been on market development, including creating a framework and laying the foundation for a delivery mechanism to provide a focus for investment and further development. However, it also intends to draw in global expertise and research capabilities as well as Higher Education facilities in the region. Additionally, it will offer business development to small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) to help them capitalise on smart market opportunities through collaborations with Korean and Taiwanese organisations in the future.
“The Smart Cornwall Project has brought many organisations together to create a strategic network, which has provided the foundations on which to design future, realistic and targeted delivery activity with support from the new ESIF Growth Programme” said Matthew Vowels from Cornwall Development Company. “Cornwall is at the forefront of the UKs renewable energy industry and the Smart Cornwall Project has developed new collaborations and identified several new investment themes to offer continued support to its evolution.”
Local companies benefitting from the project so far have included Green Acorn, Wheal Jane and Ward Williams Associates.
Green Acorn is to offer the UK’s first ever commercial charging solutions for electric vehicles in Cornwall as of autumn of this year.
Wheal Jane Group has established an Earth Science Park on the edge of Truro, on the site of a former mine that ceased operations in 1998. The business park is home to the county’s first solar array and there are plans for a future hydro-electric scheme.
Ward Williams Associates (WWA) have several active projects and programmes with domestic and international clients, aiming to integrate smart-thinking into major commercial developments. These include reviewing estates potential for smart and renewable energy and offering specialist funding expertise to deliver these models. Support from the Smart Cornwall project enabled WWA to establish a new series of strategic programme and project management services, smart-sector support and funding consultancy now being delivered through a dedicated new business within the WWA Group, Integrated Ward Williams Associates (iWWA).
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