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COP26 – SFC’s actions to combat the Climate Crisis

Spotlight on innovation

5 Nov 2021

As world leaders meet for COP26 in Glasgow, SFC is taking a look at some of the key themes of its recent climate change activities. Today the spotlight is on innovation for a greener Scotland.

Scottish innovation has made an indelible mark on many areas of knowledge, and we benefit from it in our everyday lives in things as diverse as transport, entertainment, banking and architecture.

The Scottish Funding Council recognises the strength of Scottish innovation in its investments and policies. One of our longest-standing investments in innovation is Interface, the national organisation which acts as a catalyst for collaborations between universities, colleges and businesses.

Climate change is a significant feature in projects brokered by Interface. One of the highest profile successes is Sunamp. The development of Sunamp’s world-leading thermal storage technologies has benefitted from a long and productive partnership between the company and the University of Edinburgh; a partnership that began with Interface and an SFC Innovation Voucher. Home owners using Sunamp technology are saving up to 50% in energy costs.

Another company to have developed green technology with the support of Interface is Renewable Parts Limited. Working with academics at the University of Strathclyde, Renewable Parts Limited is now producing remanufactured components for wind turbines. As well as improving recycling rates in the wind industry, the project has created new jobs and supply chain opportunities in Argyll.

In a completely different part of the economy, Interface used an SFC Innovation Voucher to facilitate a partnership between Creative Carbon Scotland and Gray’s School of Art at Robert Gordon University. Their Library of Creative Sustainability now allows artists, designers and other creative practitioners to share valuable skills and knowledge in environmental sustainability.

SFC has expanded innovation support to other sectors of the economy through its College Innovation Fund. Last year, SFC allocated £500,000 to seven collaborative projects. Three of these set out to address the emerging skills needs created by more people moving to electric and hybrid vehicles.

The investment also included farming through a ground-breaking project conceived by Dundee and Angus College. SFC funding is allowing the college to work with industry experts to ensure an efficient transition to the new and more environmentally friendly methods created by precision farming technology.