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North of Tyne back scientists in the green revolution

30 Jul 2020

The North of Tyne Combined Authority is backing the scientists of the future with plans to boost green technology and manufacturing in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

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It will bring together entrepreneurs, universities, and big business to make the region a leader in environmentally-friendly innovation for everyday consumer products.

Key to this will be the development of new technologies to make households, businesses and industry kinder to the environment and less wasteful of water, without compromising on the high quality, value and convenience expected by the public.

Politicians have approved a £1.3m contribution to the £2.7m Advancing Circular Economy (ACE) Research and Development (R&D) Demonstrator project in today’s meeting of the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) cabinet.

Led by global company Procter & Gamble (P&G), this collaborative innovation project will be delivered in partnership with CPI, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Prozomix Ltd. and the Innovation SuperNetwork.

The ACE Demonstrator project will have three priorities; to identify new and more sustainable biotechnologies for everyday cleaning products, to find new ways to reduce domestic water consumption, and to investigate the potential for a new green technology centre in the North of Tyne.

The ACE Demonstrator project will support the creation of 49 jobs and safeguard 40 others while creating opportunities in STEM for students and teachers in schools across North of Tyne.

North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Business Competitiveness and Leader of Newcastle City Council Councillor Nick Forbes said: There’s no way we can go on consuming and discarding the earth’s resources at the rate we are currently.

The latest figures from Defra show that UK households produced just under 27 million tonnes of waste in 2017. That’s equivalent to 409kg per person.

This is a unique opportunity to make the North of Tyne a world-leader in addressing global sustainability and creating modern, unique solutions to these challenges.

That means finding ways to tackle issues such as waste recycling, energy and water access, and the use of renewable materials.

We’ll do it by connecting and supporting financially those with the skill, talent, and ability to create jobs in the advanced circular economy, which is an emerging sector of global significance.”

As a region, the North East boasts everything needed for success in the ACE field.

The North of Tyne, in particular, is home to major process industries and biotechnology businesses, smaller technology providers, leading universities and strong partnerships with UK Catapults — which are a network of world-leading technology centres designed to boost innovation and economic growth.

Connecting and coordinating these institutions will encourage the development of the next generation of environmentally friendly products.

The ACE consortium of P&G’s Newcastle Innovation Centre, CPI, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Prozomix Ltd., and the Innovation SuperNetwork, will build partnerships with other companies that would benefit from the knowledge, expertise, facilities and capabilities on offer.

This could include those in the food & drink industry, oil and gas, renewables, utilities, chemicals, aerospace, automotive, pharmaceutical, electronics, construction or other sectors.

Rhona Knox, P&G Vice President, Global R&D said: I am delighted that P&G, Newcastle & Northumbria Universities, Prozomix, CPI, ISN and NTCA are partnering to enable the North East to become global leaders in creating green products and solutions.

This partnership is in line with P&G’s Ambition 2030 environment sustainability framework which is about ensuring we grow responsibly, make our business more resilient, and better serve consumer needs in a resource-constrained world.

P&G has set goals in four areas that we believe will be good for consumers, good for the planet and good for business.

In addition to these ambitious targets, on 16th July 2020, P&G announced an acceleration of its efforts to tackle climate change, with a new commitment to be carbon neutral across its operations for the decade.

The products and solutions that will be created by the ACE project demonstrate how P&G and its brands are committed to being a force for good and a force for growth, and we aspire to attract other partners who can do the same for their companies.”