SMEs get raised awareness in Scotland – and learn about a new EU initiative

INFIRMARY STREETLast week the NPL Centre for Carbon Measurement held the first Scottish Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Workshop. The ETV workshop was held at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation in collaboration with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and WRc. The workshop was attended by 50 delegates including low carbon tech SMEs, policy makers, end users and academia.

ETV is a three year pilot programme aimed at helping innovative environmental technologies reach the market.  Often novel technologies lack industry standards and a ‘track record’ which investors require in order to finance commercial scale take-up. ETV aims to bridge the gap between market ready technology and investor confidence by providing a third party verification statement explain the technology ‘does what it says on the tin’.

The aim of the workshop was to raise awareness in Scotland, about this new EU wide verification scheme.  The day kicked off with presentations from the two verification bodies in the UK (NPL and WRc), explaining principles of ETV, including eligibility requirements for technologies as well as the types of technologies included in the pilot programme.

Who’s eligible?

  • Must show innovation
  • Must be less environmentally harmful than relevant alternative technologies
  • Must be ready for market (and facing investment barriers)
  • Must be in technical scope
    • Water treatment and monitoring (WRc)
    • Materials, waste and resources (WRc)
    • Energy technologies (NPL)

Jane Burston, Head of the Centre for Carbon Measurement, chaired a panel of ETV stakeholders including end users from the waste, water and energy sectors, an ETV test body and an SME currently undertaking ETV.

Richard Allan (former chief scientist at Scottish Water) highlighted the importance of early engagement with end users when developing new technologies. This, he said, ensures manufacturers get the most of testing and verification and ensure it meets the end user requirements.

John Bingham, Director at Energy Technology Centre (ETC), gave examples of low carbon technologies ETC have worked with, such as electric vehicles and renewable technologies, that would benefit from a third party assurance scheme such as ETV.

Andy Trewin, Optimmersion Specialist at Energeno, then rounded of the panel discussion by sharing experiences from an SME perspective, where competitors make un-verified claims that make it hard to gain a competitive edge. Energeno are undertaking ETV to prove their technology works at a higher performance than other similar technologies on the market, enabling a larger market share for a novel technology that doesn’t have the support of industry standards.

The final session of the day focused on how ETV works in practise. NPL and WRc took the audience through the ETV process, examples of performance claims that could be verified under the scheme and estimates on the possible cost of ETV to an SME.

The session was finished off with a presentation from Bruce Ainsley, Innovation Manager at Scottish Enterprise, who focused on the support available to Scottish SMEs wishing to carry out ETV.



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