Climate change champions

Research at the Centre for Enzyme Innovation, University of Portsmouth and an artist
Research at the Centre for Enzyme Innovation, University of Portsmouth and an artist's impression of the future development of Fawley Waterside.

The Climate Challenge will be the focus of some of the Solent's leading businesses when they get together at Navigating Net Zero by Maritime UK Solent at the #VFS21: Festival of Innovation.

The unique event will be open to all #VFS21 delegates and is aimed at exploring global concerns and designing a new route to a Net Zero. The summit will give its participants the opportunity to find out more about what Solent businesses are doing to reduce carbon emissions to make a positive difference in the climate challenge.

Maritime UK Solent, the regional sector-based cluster backed by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and working with Maritime UK, is hosting the event at the #VFS21: Festival of Innovation at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton, on Thursday 21 October.

Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chair of Maritime UK Solent, Chief Executive for the Solent LEP and a Director of Maritime UK said: “The #VFS21: Festival of Innovation is the perfect place for us to gather and debate these vital issues and opportunities.

“The Solent Maritime cluster is a powerful £5.8bn economy responsible for 20% of our region's economic output and key to our future prosperity. With the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 fast approaching, now is the time for us to make a solid commitment for the future.

"Maritime UK Solent endeavours to promote this world-class maritime cluster to drive innovation, pioneer clean and green technology in the industry, and develop a talent base for future generations to thrive."

The summit is an opportunity to focus on clean maritime innovation in the Solent by bringing together key partners to engage at #VFS21. These include; the Centre for Enzyme Innovation, University of Portsmouth; the National Oceanography Centre; Wightlink; Fawley Waterside;  Oil Spill Response; True Horizon - a sustainability advisor for businesses; and the Solent LEP's Skills Hub, who support businesses to shape the skills innovation agenda in the region's schools and colleges.

Aldred Drummond, CEO of Fawley Waterside, said: “We are committed to enabling a vibrant and clean economy at Fawley Waterside, bringing together the leading innovators in maritime decarbonisation and whole systems net zero infrastructure.

"We are grateful to the Solent LEP for the opportunity to share this vision as we all work together to plan for Solent Freeport. We look forward to making new contacts at VentureFest and renewing dialogues with our many valued partners in the region.”

Rory Miles, Innovation Fellow at the Centre for Enzyme Innovation at the University of Portsmouth (CEI), said: “I’m looking forward to meeting businesses from across the region and discussing the opportunities to work with the CEI through our HM Government/Solent LEP-funded Industrial Engagement Hub.

"Launching in early 2022, we’re looking for partnerships that shape, refine, develop and test low carbon and low energy enzyme-enabled solutions for the circular recycling of problem plastic waste.

"We offer a potential transformative solution to support reaching Net Zero carbon emissions: this event will be the first step in our engagement with the maritime sector.”

Find out more about the Navigating Net Zero summit at and book your ticket to attend.


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