As the Humber region began to establish itself as a successful cluster for offshore wind, emerging as a key player in the low-carbon sector, it was important to strengthen this position and support the region’s international standing as a centre of excellence in renewable energy.
As we move towards a cleaner and more resource efficient form of economic growth, all tiers of Government are stepping up to their roles in solving global environmental challenges.
The climate emergencies have led to the Humber’s ambition of becoming the first in the country to become net-zero for carbon emissions and the Government has set a legally binding target for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
To further establish the Humber’s position as the UK’s Energy Estuary, Aura and its partners had a vision to create a hub, designed for innovation in the offshore wind and renewable energy sectors.
Fostering a place where collaboration could happen easily, bringing together businesses with top researchers and industry leaders to drive innovation, Aura saw a number of opportunities to further support and deliver the Industrial Strategy and Sector Deal, all from one ground-breaking facility.
To make the vision a reality, it was critical for Aura to secure funding from multiple parties, including the European Regional Development Fund and additional stakeholders.
Aura, led by the University of Hull opened the Aura Innovation Centre (AIC), a community that supports businesses of all sizes and sectors to accelerate projects to reduce carbon emissions, deliver green innovation and benefit from clean business growth.
Designed with collaboration at its core, and innovation running through its veins, the AIC brings together a unique cluster of knowledge and expertise and a space for businesses to develop new technologies, be part of the offshore wind and renewable energy supply chain, and spearhead the Humber’s low-carbon ambitions. Technology-rich and adaptable spaces are available for businesses to utilise, including a workshop, work spaces and events, meeting and conference facilities.
Aura successfully secured £4 million funding from European Regional Development Fund and a further £2.5 million from Green Port Hull and £5.5 million funding from the University of Hull to fulfil the vision of developing a central innovation hub.
The £12m Aura Innovation Centre, at Hessle’s Bridgehead Business Park, was opened in January 2020, delivering a number of substantial benefits to the region and beyond.
Since launching, the AIC is already helping over 40 businesses achieve their low-carbon ambitions with over £190,000 of funded innovation support committed from dedicated Innovation Managers and teams of research experts at the University of Hull.
Extensive supply chain mapping work will identify Humber businesses in every tier of the offshore wind supply chain. Our experts are helping businesses to understand the opportunities in offshore wind and provide further guidance to access available innovation and R&D support.
Since opening, we’ve welcomed over 500 visitors. Workshops and events have already taken place including the popular Energy Breakfast series, designed to inspire and inform businesses about trends, updates and opportunities to become involved in the renewable energy supply chain.
Click here to find out more about the Aura Innovation Centre.