UEA supports businesses who reduce carbon emissions

The Enterprise Centre

Many of us want to reduce our impact on the environment as consumers, and the University of East Anglia (UEA) is helping new businesses aiming to do the same thing. The Adapt Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF) - the only venture capital fund run by a university with the purpose of supporting businesses from a range of sectors who produce products and services that reduce carbon emissions - is launching its second investment cycle on 3 May.

The fund has already invested £20.5 million, alongside £49 million from other investors, in more than 40 enterprises since it was set up in 2010 – saving a projected 10 million tonnes of carbon by 2020.

Adapt Group and LCIF CEO, Prof John French, said: “We are pleased to see the ongoing success of this fund and, as we move into its seventh year, we are able to start recycling funds for investment again. This is a tribute to our successful cluster of green businesses and to our fund managers, Turquoise International, who manage our investment portfolio with us.”

The fund is aimed at small to medium-sized businesses based in the East of England (Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire), who can apply for an investment of £25,000 to £75,000, with matching co-investment.

One business that’s already benefitted from investment is the Essex-based activewear company Sundried. “Sundried was developed around low carbon and impeccable ethical credentials,” said Daniel Puddick, Founder and CEO. “LCIF fitted our ethos and was happy to look at an early stage business - typically financing is readily available for a later stage business. They offered not only the financial support, but introduced us to experts in carbon planning. We’ve followed their advice and developed our pilot collection minimising our carbon footprint. Now we’re using recycled bottles, recycled coffee grounds and are in the early stages of exploring straw.”

Karen Jones, UEA Chancellor and chairman of the Food & Fuel chain of London gastro pubs, said: “UEA is increasingly well-known for its innovative and wide-ranging support for entrepreneurs within its community, be they students, faculty or members of the wider East of England business community. The University will be the place that encourages great ideas to prosper and flourish and can provide the seed funding to make that a reality.

“There are many strands of enterprise and entrepreneurship at the University and the LCIF is itself one of these, building on UEA’s strong heritage of environmental research, sited in one the UK’s greenest building on campus and seeking out and supporting great, low-carbon businesses for the future. LCIF embodies UEA’s tradition of doing better – and doing different.”