On a daily basis we all hear news of forest fires, melting sea ice, droughts, flooding and other extreme events, with many of these being attributed to climate change. With the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) latest report, we can see further evidence of how human activities have warmed Earth’s atmosphere, land and oceans.

The report shows global temperatures rising more quickly than expected, due to the increasing levels of CO2 in the air and that these will continue to increase until at least 2050 under all of the scenarios studied. This is the first in a series of published reports which will inform and influence inter-governmental discussions at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference and the resulting actions agreed to mitigate further temperature increases.

With global temperatures rising more rapidly than previously thought and the potential longevity of changes in our oceans, ice sheets and atmosphere we now need to deliver urgent actions that address this. The need to reduce CO2, CH4 and other greenhouse gas emissions is not new, yet current government statements will not deliver the required reductions to limit global warming to 1.5°C. These statements need to be supplemented by progressively more challenging increases in the scale and ambition of emissions reductions beyond 2030.

Taking the diesel generator market as an example, the lack of grid infrastructure in remote locations and increasing industrialisation in developing countries are just two factors that are driving the growth of the diesel generator market globally. With every litre of diesel fuel generating 2.6kg of CO2, the decarbonisation of this sector alone has the potential to impact these emissions significantly and globally.

We know our Innovation Challenge is well timed and well directed. Aimed at decarbonising small-scale off-grid, mobile or temporary energy provision, successful projects have the potential to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to addressing the challenging climate change targets we all need to deliver.

We want to support a range of projects that deliver or demonstrate the viability of zero emission alternatives for small scale off-grid, mobile or temporary energy provision. These can include early stage opportunity or feasibility studies which will allow companies to develop a platform for future product and process development projects.

All information including Frequently Asked Questions, Application Form and Terms and Conditions can be found on our website with applications open until 11am on 20 August.

Sarah Petrie, Innovation Director, MSIP

Following several delays, the UK Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan was published on 14 July. It covers all forms of domestic transport including road, rail, shipping and aviation, and aims to align all travel and logistics with the UK 2050 net-zero target.

The plan features a number of headline-grabbing commitments including a ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles and buses by 2040; the removal of all diesel-only trains by 2040; the launch of a “Jet Zero” consultation; and the aim to decarbonise the domestic maritime sector “as early as is feasible”. Transport Scotland’s Mission Zero strategy goes even further on some of the same modes of transport. Examples include the decarbonisation of rail, and the phasing out of diesel heavy good vehicles by 2035, and the phasing out of diesel buses by 2024, significantly ahead of the UK government targets.

This all sounds great, but some sectors have a much more challenging journey ahead and will require significantly greater innovation, investment, policy statements and associated regulatory changes. The exciting things is that these ambitious plans backed up by policies and investment could stimulate significant innovations in the near future.

Transport Scotland recently announced a fund of £50m for zero emission buses which is “designed in a way that maximises opportunities to attract sustainable financing and encourage innovative ways of doing so”. This recognises the need for additional innovation in both the financial and non-financial models and incentives which are required to deliver the stated net-zero ambitions of both UK and Scottish governments.

Different energy vectors can also play a role in supporting the transport sector to transition to net-zero. Scotland is particularly well placed to develop and deploy green hydrogen-based solutions. For heavy vehicles, biomethane could also perform a function in reducing emissions in the near-term whilst the introduction of green hydrogen builds. Each new energy vector will need significant investment in scale up, deployment, skills and innovation.

Unprecedented co-operation between the transport and energy networks will also be critical to the delivery of the most efficient and effective solutions. This is why we have launched our first ever MSIP Innovation Challenge . We are looking to support a range of projects that deliver or demonstrate the viability of zero emission alternatives for small scale off-grid, mobile or temporary energy provision. These can include early stage opportunity or feasibility studies which will allow companies to develop a platform for future product and process development projects.

All information including Frequently Asked Questions, Application Form and Terms and Conditions can be found on our website with applications open until 11am on 20 August.

Sarah Petrie, Innovation Director, MSIP

This week marks 26 weeks to COP26. That got us thinking…

We set our team a challenge to list 26 facts about MSIP, everything from the useful, interesting and wonderful.

  1. We are currently transforming what was a tyre factory into an Innovation Parc focused on sustainable mobility and decarbonisation.
  2. The Innovation Parc will comprise of two key parts – industrial space and an Innovation Campus.
  3. We have a team of 17 – a great bunch of people making our ambition a reality.
  4. Our Innovation Campus will have an Innovation Hub, Innovation Labs and the Fulhame Building offering light industrial units, as well as open, outdoor space for collaboration, relaxing and creating the ideas for the future.
  5. Our Skills Academy will launch later this year, bringing our first learners to MSIP. We can’t wait to welcome them!
  6. Our tenant companies are some of the most innovative companies out there  –  SolarisKit, MEP Technologies, Arcola and Swarco. You should check them out!
  7. MSIP will be home to LOCATE, a drivetrain testing facility to support the development of zero emission heavy and niche vehicle platforms.
  8. The entire space at MSIP covers 32 hectares – that’s the equivalent of 49 football pitches and adds up to around 11,088 steps when walked.
  9. Our largest building – Foote and Telkes – is 20,000 m2 (just less than four football pitches).
  10. MSIP is located in Dundee, Scotland’s sunniest City – a true fact backed up by scientific data that shows Dundee records more sunshine than anywhere else in Scotland…
  11. …and our Foote and Telkes Building has the capacity to have solar panels fitted across the roof, giving the potential to generate a lot of solar energy in Scotland’s sunniest City!
  12. We have two wind turbines at MSIP, owned and run by Ecotricity and they are each 85m high – that’s 4.5 V&A Dundee’s piled up on top of each other!
  13. These two wind turbines can each generate enough energy in a year to make 350 million cups of tea.
  14. The power generated from the two turbines means those located at MSIP can access off grid electricity, developed from a natural green source – the wind – which on the East Coast of Scotland is something we have plenty of!
  15. One side of MSIP is neighboured by the Dighty Burn, a stream that is 12 miles in length that flows through the north and east of Dundee.
  16. The other side of MSIP is neighboured by the Fithie Burn, a stream that flows 2 miles west southwest of Tealing in Angus, then east and southeast for 7 miles before joining the Dighty Water at Baldovie.
  17. Dundee has one of the highest concentrations of electric vehicles (EVs) and offers one of the most connected EV charging environments, across the whole of the UK.
  18. We have Electric Vehicle charge points already at MSIP that are free to use, with plans to install more as we welcome more companies and visitors.  
  19. MSIP is home to a variety of wildlife – this week alone we have spotted a family of deer, rabbits, pheasants and a Kestrel. However, studies have yet to reveal any variety of protected species, and/or bats.
  20. The RRS Discovery, located in Dundee and just a ten-minute drive from MSIP, undertook the world’s first climate change research, something that is still used as the benchmark for climate change scientists to this day…
  21. …and just next door to the RRS Discovery is the V&A Dundee Museum of Design, the first Victoria and Albert Museum in the world located outside of London.
  22. MSIP is built on the site of an old farm and orchard, and the remains of an icehouse still resides on the land at MSIP.
  23. The MSIP site had a bleaching works in the 19th/early 20th century, linked to the Dundee textile industry.
  24. MSIP is at the direct opposite point to Papatowai, Otago, New Zealand.
  25. If you Google MSIP, you get about 2,770,000 results.
  26. We have launched our plans to hold a large Demonstrator and Showcase Event on 11 and 12 November 2021 and would love for you to be a part of that. You can find more information out here.

Last year we made the decision to rename the buildings at the Innovation Parc. We’ve chosen to name them after people who made significant progress or discoveries in fields relating to sustainable mobility and decarbonisation.

McAdam Building

John Loudon McAdam was a Scottish civil engineer and road-builder who invented ‘macadamisation’, deemed to be the single greatest advance in road construction since the Roman Empire. Its development paved the way for much of the modern world as we know it today.

Johnston Building

George Johnston was a Scottish engineer who spent the early part of his career as a locomotive engineer before designing and constructing Scotland’s first automobile, the Mo-Car.

Ayrton Building

Hertha Ayrton was a pioneering English physicist, and suffragette. Her work and inventions contributed to major scientific advancements at the turn of the 20th century, specifically in the field of electricity.

Cavendish Building

Henry Cavendish was an English scientist, and an important experimental and theoretical chemist and physicist, known for discovering hydrogen, which he termed ‘inflammable air’.

Volta Building

Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta was an Italian physicist, chemist, and pioneer of electricity and power who is credited as the inventor of the first electric battery. The volt, the standard unit of electric potential, was named in his honour.

Fulhame Building

Elizabeth Fulhame was a Scottish chemist who invented the concept of catalysis, the process of increasing the rate of a chemical reaction by adding a substance known as a catalyst, a major step in the history of chemistry.

Foote Building

Eunice Newton Foote was an American scientist, inventor and woman’s rights campaigner. She is known for being the first scientist to make the connection between the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and climate change in 1856. She discovered the warming properties of carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect and went on to theorise that changing the proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would change its temperature.

Telkes Building

Maria Telkes was a Hungarian biophysicist, scientist and inventor who worked on solar energy technologies, best known for her invention of the solar distiller and the first solar-powered heating system designed for residences. She is considered one of the founders of solar thermal storage systems, earning her the nickname “the Sun Queen”.

Bolton Building

Ogden Bolton Jr. was an American inventor known for being granted the first patent for a battery powered bicycle, making him an early pioneer for the e-bikes we have today.

Parker Building

Thomas Parker was an English electrical engineer and inventor who is known for creating one of the first practical electrical cars in around 1884. He patented improvements in lead-acid batteries and dynamos and was a pioneer of manufacturing equipment that powered electric tramways and electric lighting.

de Rivaz Building

Francois Isaac de Rivaz was a Franco-Swiss inventor best known for inventing the hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine with electric ignition in 1807. A year later, Isaac built an early automobile for his new engine to power “the world’s first internal combustion powered automobile” – a hydrogen car.

McCall Building

Thomas McCall was a Scottish inventor who is best known for being the first man to achieve rear-wheel drive on a bicycle and also producing the first rod-driven two-wheeled, bicycle called the Treadle Bicycle in 1869.

Blyth Building

James Blyth was a Scottish electrical engineer, who was a pioneer in the field of electricity generation through wind power. Built in 1887, his wind turbine was the world’s first- known structure by which electricity was generated from wind power. He patented his design and later developed an improved model.

You can view our full site map here.

Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc was formed to create a greener future, for people, place and planet.

In 2021, with the world still battling a global pandemic and planning for an economic recovery, progress is challenging. But it must not stop.

Our mission remains – build a dynamic and creative home for innovators, manufacturers and skills leaders to collaborate, and nurture growth and advances in sustainable mobility and decarbonisation.

As part of delivering our mission and preparing for our participation in COP26, we are currently building our net zero plan. We want to share with our audience how we intend to respond to climate change in clear, tangible ways. In doing so, we look to our partners, stakeholders, customers and community to learn from. Best practice is what it is all about!

Last week we were excited to find out more about our founding partner Michelin’s vision for a more sustainable future.

Despite the global health and economic crisis in 2020, Michelin’s determination to achieve sustainable growth remains. It has stepped up its commitment and set a big challenge – for all of Michelin tyres to be made entirely from renewable, recycled, biosourced or otherwise sustainable materials, by 2050.

Its commitment is to deliver safer, smarter, more sustainable mobility, that fits with its values and corporate identity. And it has set a clear roadmap to deliver this commitment.

Michelin’s ambition is to ensure that while an integration of sustainable materials into tyres is key to a sustainable future for mobility, it will not be done in a way that is detrimental to the environment. Michelin is also working to ensure that these new technologies do not degrade, but instead actually improve the life cycle of its tyres.

Michelin has the ability to show real projects that can be deployed quickly and on a large scale, with clear short-term plans in place that will demonstrate results.

As well as its ambitious plans for sustainable tyre manufacture, Michelin is continually investing in new technologies that will shape the future of sustainable mobility and decarbonisation, and is working with industry to promote the recycling of end-of-life tyres.

Michelin’s extremely promising advances go far beyond tyres, bringing together a very diverse range of technologies and initiatives.

MSIP will continue to deliver its own mission for net zero with clarity and transparency that fits with our values and culture, drawing inspiration from our key partners.

Philippa is the Managing Director of CNC Robotics Ltd, a leading robotic integration company based in the Liverpool City Region. She started her career studying a Masters in Chemistry with a year in industry at the University of Sheffield and has worked in manufacturing ever since. Philippa is responsible for the strategic development of the business and its people. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and sits on several advisory boards, including MAKE UK Regional Advisory Board and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Manufacturing Made Smarter Advisory Board. In 2019 Philippa featured in Insiders 42 under 42 NW list celebrating the strength of the region’s brightest business talent to form the next generation of successful business leaders and business owners. She is passionate about working closely with the broader manufacturing community to address critical challenges that will shape our future.
 
1. What got you interested in engineering?
 
Manufacturing covers a wide range of industries, and it’s difficult not to get excited about the opportunities that manufacturing and engineering presents. My career has spanned sectors, including some of the most interesting such as FMCG, food technology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and high tech industries and across a diverse range of roles. What got me interested in manufacturing and engineering is how diverse it is. No two days are the same, and likewise, for CNC Robotics, no two clients are the same. Not everyone gets excited about what you do for a living, but people genuinely want to listen when you support manufacturers to do what they do best but smarter.
 
2. What is the most interesting engineering project you have been involved in, and why was it interesting?
 
Working in manufacturing and engineering is incredibly exciting. It is fundamental to our economy, and digital technologies such as robotics and automation will play a key role in continuing to put UK manufacturing on the map driving growth and opportunities for all. Every project that I get involved in is interesting in its own right. I enjoy working strategically with the manufacturing community to help manufacturers understand the positive role robotics and automation play in building a more resilient and sustainable future, creating a blueprint for the future of UK manufacturing.
 
3. Why should more females take up a career in engineering?
 
The UK has the lowest number of female engineers in Europe; this is pretty shocking and not something we should be proud of; however, as a woman working in manufacturing and engineering, I could not think of a better sector to work in. Working in manufacturing and engineering is a great place to be, and it is essential that we showcase the fantastic opportunities available and nurture and grow future talent. Opportunities really are available to all, and you can be a force for change.
 
4. Why do you think sustainable mobility is such an important field?
 
Sustainable mobility is not just about today. It’s about making the right decisions for tomorrow. Sustainable mobility is about just that. Ensuring that we reduce our environmental impact when moving both people and goods. As a mum of two, my kids regularly encourage me not to drive places and instead walk, cycle or catch the bus. Sustainable mobility is about them and ensuring that we continue to innovate to protect our planet. A key area of focus is sustainable raw materials. These will power sustainable mobility. I see first hand some of the changes afoot as we work closely with several leading companies working within the field.

 
5. Do you have any advice for any young female engineers?
 
As a woman working in robotics, sometimes you may be the only woman in the room whilst some may see this as a challenge, there are significant opportunities for growth and mindful progression. It’s an exciting time to work in robotics, with significant opportunities for growth. For those looking to get into the sector, it is important to surround yourself with individuals who empower you to grow and reach your potential.

When I posted my blog piece ahead of the inaugural MSIP Accelerator (powered by Elevator), my optimism that ‘normal’ was just around the corner was high. Five months on and considerable progress has been made in the field of vaccines but not after some false dawns about what society could and couldn’t control using detergents and ‘social’ distancing. What has come through is that the resilience and adaptability of everyone involved in developing my intended community of interest at MSIP and delivery of an interactive and innovative accelerator programme for the eight companies that make up our first cohort.

With challenges has come opportunities and whilst some informal interactions between participants has been lost without the presence of a water-cooler, it has opened up a rich seam (excuse the carbon analogy) of speakers and mentors for which the virtual setting has been convenient and without anyone feeling the disadvantage of being the only ‘remote one’.

The other great power in bringing companies together on a joint journey is building that team spirit and supportive experience often espoused by emotional celebrities emerging from the jungle. It’s genuine and rare to experience when working in the relative isolation of a start-up or SME. Accelerators work because this ‘magic’ extends beyond the exercises and workshops within the programme and into professional, technical and commercial collaborations. This is what has been developing within our cohort – and all done via Zoom/Teams (other VC tools are available…).

We do yearn for the whiteboard, flipcharts and coffee breaks, but the past 5 months has proven whatever difficulties exist, these programmes can deliver huge value and great social interaction. There is still time to apply for Cohort 2 of this fantastic programme, we’d be delighted to help you with that process.

Bob Andrew, Accelerator Manager, Elevator UK

To find out more about our Accelerator Programme click here.

Applications close on the 22nd February 2021, please register your interest here.

Accelerator programmes have truly flourished in recent years and you can find one that meets the market or technology needs of most companies in most geographies. But what are the benefits of going through an Accelerator and why should you consider joining MSIP’s Accelerator?

1 – Learn loads

Accelerators are usually short and intense and the MSIP Accelerator is no different. In just 16 weeks you will reimagine your business plan, your value proposition, learn to listen to your customer and how to pitch effectively. All to help you in accomplishing your vision.

2 – Build relationships

Accelerators are often characterised by their cohorts, a group of selected companies that have the opportunity to work together and learn from each other. At MSIP, our cohort will share an ambition to grow, to make a difference in sustainable mobility and be willing to work collaboratively.

3 – Access wider networks

Business can often benefit greatly from talking to the right person at the right time. Through the MSIP Accelerator you will be become part of the wider MSIP ecosystem of entrepreneurs, partners and support agencies that will open doors for you to reach your ambitious goals.

4 – Attract attention

By joining an Accelerator programme you will often attract the attention of major investors, looking to support the next big thing. Sustainable mobility, decarbonisation, climate tech, whatever you choose to call it, is attracting investment from many directions and we can help you to find that right investment partner for you.

5 – Increase your chances of success

Funding is crucial for long-term sustainability and growth in most start-ups and evidence demonstrates that joining an Accelerator programme increases your chances of achieving success. We are passionate about supporting our cohort companies throughout their growth journey.

6 – Invest in your team

The team behind any company is its most valuable asset with each individual bringing something unique and enabling the team to succeed. During our programme your team will have the opportunity grow and learn, enhancing it’s performance and capabilities at the same time.

7 – Don’t be restricted by a global pandemic

Whilst we would love to have our next MSIP Accelerator cohort to be based at MSIP, we know that this just isn’t possible at the moment. You can still benefit from the unique vision that we have at MSIP by opening your minds to participating virtually.

8 – Technical support

Many Accelerator programmes provide access to specialists and the MSIP Accelerator is no different. Delivered by Elevator UK and with support from Ricardo and Productive, MSIP’s Accelerator provides access to technical know-how which can help you accelerate your product and manufacturing development.

Participating in an Accelerator programme can be hugely beneficial to companies at the right point in their growth and development, helping them to refine their vision, value proposition and ultimately helping them to achieve their ambitions.

If you are a truly ambitious company looking to take the next step in your growth journey and you are prepared to make the investment in the Accelerator programme then we would like to hear from you. In return we will help you to gain a deep understanding of the development, commercial and marketing pathways required to ensure your success.

Sarah Petrie, Innovation Director, MSIP

To find out more about our Accelerator Programme click here.

Applications close on the 22nd February 2021, please register your interest here.

The Climate Emergency is here, that is certain. And the energy industry is adapting at pace.

In 2016 there was widespread panic about the price of oil, and yet the price is now almost double what it was then, operators are still facing a lot of challenges. The industry is under pressure to adapt and address the global climate crisis we now face, while still remaining profitable. Thus, a crisis is always an opportunity.

Since 2016 a lot has happened. The effects of climate change are felt globally. And we are now faced with COVID-19, forcing us to pause and reflect even more.

The energy industry is aware that CHANGE is needed, even O&G companies know this. The energy industry needs to find solutions to tackle this challenge. Within the oil and gas industry it is very common to hear “yes, it is true but how are cars, boats, planes going to work?”. That is a good question, what will the climate friendly vehicle of the future run on?

Tesla has shown how an electric car can be stylish, efficient, and nice. But it is not just Tesla that has shown this. Have you seen the Porche, Taycan? Or looked closer at Nissan? Across the vehicle manufacturing industry, companies are working towards different electric vehicles for the future.

And then we look at hydrogen as a fuel source for vessels and planes. Yes, it is not going to happen overnight, but it is here and will remain for many years to come.  

I am not an expert or guru of any kind, but I truly believe that what the energy industry needs is a revolution in order to make our world a better place to live for future generations. Sustainable Mobility and Decarbonisation play a key role in this mix.

Tesla, Porche and Nissan sound great, but we need more. We need to establish a whole supply chain of technologies to make this happen!

That’s the reason why the MSIP Accelerator was established, to support those SMEs and entrepreneurs with great ideas and projects to make this a reality. From data, software, efficient engines, collectors, tools, etc. everything plays a critical part in this exciting revolution.

Change is inevitable and as the revolutionary GE’s CEO, Jack Welch said “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”

Thus, another good reason to be part of our forthcoming MSIP Accelerator Cohort 2, to make sure you are in the right place at the right time.

It is true that government and other organisations can do more to help the industry to develop and implement these new solutions. Innovation programmes should be more flexible, better funded and include further tax deductions for those companies and projects, who can offer alternatives to fossil fuels.

This is our contribution.

I am sure there are many people out there with great ideas and plans that may contribute to the end of this crisis. If you are one of them, please apply for the MSIP Accelerator Cohort 2.

David Garcia, Scottish Enterprise

To find out more about our Accelerator Programme click here.

Applications close on the 22nd February 2021, please register your interest here.

At MSIP, we are passionate about building collaborations and partnerships. Why? Because we believe that they can bring a variety of skills, capabilities, and technologies together to deliver step changes in results.

But how do you go about finding the right collaborative partners and how do you ensure success? As it is Christmas, we thought we would share 12 top tips that you might find helpful.

  1. Understand your why – why do you need collaboration?
  2. Also understand your what – what do need to bring “in” that you cannot do yourself and what can you offer to a partner?
  3. Define your objectives clearly so that you can share these with potential partners. Also, this will help in the later stages.
  4. Use ALL of your networks and business support organisations to identify options and …….
  5. Evaluate each of them. Don’t just go with the first one you find and make sure that the “fit” is right for each of you.
  6. Agree the ground rules up front – how are you going work together, how are you going to deal with intellectual property, who is paying for what?
  7. Build a shared plan to ensure visibility of the timelines, milestones, deliverables, and end point.
  8. Get it written down and formally agreed so that everyone understands what is expected of them.
  9. Continually monitor to ensure each partner is getting what they need from the relationship, if it is weighted towards one partner then this can jeopardise the relationship.
  10. Celebrate successes and tackle difficulties before they become too big – this will help to build the collective sense of “team”.

But that’s only 10 top tips!!

The final two relate to MSIP. We are committed to working in partnership to progress emerging technologies for a greener future.

  1. If you are a like-minded organisation and want to find out more, join us on our LinkedIn page or
  2. Get in touch at [email protected]

Sarah Petrie, Innovation Director, MSIP