EU bankrolls sustainable business fund for Wales

A scheme to help businesses across West Wales and the Valleys operate in a more sustainable way has had its funding pot doubled - thanks to EU backing.

The WISE Network (Welsh Institute for Sustainable Environments) project led by Aberystwyth University in partnership with Bangor and Swansea Universities has gained funding of £6.6m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government, with the remaining funding provided by the universities involved.

As a result, the scheme, which aims to support companies to undertake research and development activities in a bid to develop ‘greener’ manufacturing processes, products and packaging and drive business growth, now has a funding pot of £12m.

It also aims to encourage business to increase use of renewable materials to produce commercial goods and services.

European Programmes deputy minister Alun Davies, said: “This scheme is another example of how EU projects can support businesses, helping them to increase their competitiveness and deliver goods and services in a way that helps protect our environment, meeting our own ambitions to build a low-carbon economy and those of EU 2020 for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.”

The scheme will also offer businesses expertise in areas, such as developing renewable-based materials for use in products and improving resource efficiency of services, helping to reduce their ecological footprint.

Carys Matthews

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