The STBAH, is based in the university’s existing Innovation Centre located in Bath city centre, the aim is to develop more than 130 small and medium sizes businesses over the next three years. The programme is open to firms across the West of England in South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Bristol and Bath who are dedicated to harnessing technology to tackle some of the key issues in the low carbon and sustainable sectors, from transport and power to the way homes are built.
There are two specific programmes available through the STBAH, one offering 2-day Startup Workshops focusing on the key elements of early stage business growth, such as identifying the market opportunity and building a business plan. This will primarily be for very early stage businesses which have been operating for under 12 months. The other programme is the Business Acceleration programme and offers mentoring and coaching for more established businesses who are looking to ‘scale-up’. This is more intensive support on an ad-hoc basis, potentially over 12 months, and will be bespoke to the specific business needs. It can cover, for example, specialist advice on bid writing, HR, legal, procurement or engaging with university researchers. It may involve smaller workshop sessions with a number of businesses (up to ten) or more intensive one-to-one support. This may involve some businesses that have graduated from the Start-Up Programme.
The support is free and funded through the European Regional Development Fund, it is operated by the University of Bath Research & Innovation Service and supported by Low Carbon South West (LCSW).
Several South West firms have already been accepted onto the programme, including Bath based Hewitt Studios, who are receiving support for their K:Port concept - an electric charging hub. Another firm accepted onto the programme are Bristol based Collecteco, who work with businesses and other organisations to donate reusable furniture, equipment and materials to good causes, including charities, schools, voluntary groups and other not for profits so nothing ends up in landfill.
“Low carbon and sustainable technologies are a research strength of this university” said project lead and director of the university’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT), Prof Matthew Davidson. “Not only will this business acceleration hub enable us to collaborate more effectively with additional businesses, but they will be businesses which are highly innovative with strong growth potential. Having this network available is an important asset for us. It will continue to build on the West of England region’s reputation for world-leading innovation in sustainable technologies and supporting the continued growth of the wider low carbon economy.”
Bath University is keen to engage businesses across the West of England on the programme, in particular in South Gloucestershire and North Somerset and are encouraging firms engaged in developing low carbon or sustainable projects to visit the STBAH website for further information.