Funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund, the Center for Research in Environmental Science and Technology (CREST) offers fully funded support to SMEs wishing to reduce their environmental impact or innovate and develop new products or services.
Longmynd Travel, based outside Shrewsbury, offers coach travel for businesses and individuals. In response to net zero, staff wanted to understand the alternative fuel market for coaches, which is separate from that of buses.
Initially, academic experts at CREST researched alternative fuels and their suitability for use as a supplement or replacement for a standard diesel combustion engine.
Due to the costs associated with switching to alternative fuels, the CREST team wanted to find financial assistance for the company. Birmingham Clean Air Zone had grants that could be used by SMEs to help retrofit/renovate existing vehicles or buy/lease new vehicles. Business Development Manager Vicki Ayton backed Longmynd Travel with the March 2022 bid which saw the company receive £45,000.
One of CREST’s business networks, the Shrewsbury Geospatial Group (SGG), developed by Pascale Bodevin, Business Development Officer, focuses on advancing the adoption of geospatial technologies by organizations and individuals.
A crucial element in achieving this goal is to support access to funding that facilitates projects, enabling collaboration between universities and industry. CREST has helped Sylvan Resources access around £8,500 through the PARSEC Accelerator. This funding aims to support organizations in the development of products based on Earth observation (EO) to solve food, energy or environmental problems.
Katharine Bevan, Project Manager at CREST, said: “It has been incredibly satisfying to work with these companies to help them make real change that improves their sustainability. We are always keen to hear from eligible companies to see how we can help sustainability projects succeed.