Innovation and the environment
“Better to save a unit of energy than create a new one, however you create it” (Rt. Hon. John Denham, MP)
- The Rt. Hon. John Denham, Secretary of State for for Innovation, Universities & Skills and MP for Southampton Itchen
- Professor Debra Humphris, Pro Vice-Chancellor Education
- Academics, business people, support agencies and students
- Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) which challenges students to develop projects that create economic opportunities for others, bringing together Universities, business and the community. Current University of Southampton SIFE projects include micro lending to enterprising farmers in Madagascar; rice growing in Sierra Leone and local education projects. These activities are funded through student consultancy work, including website health checks; Facebook consultancy; and an environmental management project, Green and Clever, that launched last week.
John Denham spoke persuasively of the need to:
- reduce the carbon footprint by 2020
- drive innovation through the purchasing power of public procurement, government regulation and behavioural change
- promote positive consistent messages about environmental activity using the ‘Act Now’ brand
- respond to the interest and enthusiasm of users, for example by harnessing the whole of higher education in order to demonstrate what can be achieved across a sector
- support women entrepeneurs who are under-represented in startup activity
- drive innovation through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (Technology Strategy Board); the Higher Education Innovation Fund; and the new Innovation Vouchers (SEEDA).