Knowsley SMEs offered free access to world class academic resources to blaze trail to net zero

18 fully funded internships and five part-funded 12-month Masters by Research projects to help reduce carbon emissions and accelerate growth

Small businesses in Knowsley are being urged to blaze a trail to net zero through a programme giving them free access to world-leading academic expertise and cutting-edge resources.

22 companies across the Liverpool City Region have so far collaborated with Lancaster University as part of the Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory (LCEI), a business support programme which aims to help reduce their carbon emissions and accelerate growth.

These include an aerial theatre company, civil engineers, water treatment specialists and furniture manufacturers who, through funded research and development projects ranging from one month to 12-months, have identified areas to reduce their carbon footprint, while others have tested, developed and commercialised low carbon products, processes and services.

Collectively, these businesses have saved more than 170 tonnes of greenhouse gases – more than two-thirds of the programme’s target.

And with 18 fully funded internships and five part-funded 12-month Masters by Research projects available to the next batch of sustainability-driven Liverpool-based SMEs, more is to come.

Carolyn Hayes, LCEI Project Manager at Lancaster University, a delivery partner for the project, said: “SMEs play a major role in economies worldwide and Liverpool is no exception where they make up 99%* of the business community. It is therefore crucial that SMEs are equipped with the tools and resources needed to make their impact on creating a low carbon future.

“But the most common barrier to SME from taking action is a lack of resources, such as personnel, knowledge and time, and knowing where to start. That is how the LCEI programme can help. 

“Our support is designed for companies at all stages of their low carbon journey. We will work closely with them to identify a bespoke course of action harnessing the skills and expertise of undergraduates, postgraduates and world-renowned academics, and leveraging our plethora of world-class facilities.

“I would encourage leaders of SMEs in Knowsley to start a conversation with us about how LECI could help to reduce costs and their carbon footprint, improve performance, and future proof their business in a low carbon future.”

LCEI is a business R&D consortium, backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and led by Liverpool John Moores University (Chamber member) alongside partners Lancaster University and the University of Liverpool (Chamber Member).

Since its launch in 2015, the Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory has supported 350 businesses on projects which have saved 10,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.

For more information visit or contact Carolyn Hayes via email