Clean tech innovators in the West Midlands to tackle transport challenges

Companies delivering greener transport technologies will take part in trials and receive funding and business support as part of the Clean Futures accelerator programme.

Twenty firms at the leading edge of efforts to reduce the transport sector’s reliance on fossil fuels have been announced as participants on the Clean Futures accelerator programme in the West Midlands.

Clean Futures is led by Connected Places Catapult alongside programme partners the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation, Coventry University and CU Services Limited.

Companies chosen for the programme will each receive up to £50,000 to trial their solutions over the next six months, and address one of five challenge areas associated with the rail and automotive manufacturing sectors. The challenges cover greener electric vehicle components; the circular economy of transport; road freight alternatives; greener transport infrastructure; and future fuels.

The accelerator will also provide bespoke technical and commercial support as well as networking and showcasing events to connect the SMEs with industry and financial partners.

“Working with our excellent partners, the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation, Coventry University and CU Services Limited, the Clean Futures accelerator programme aims to really move the needle in the West Midlands by supporting the most exciting cleantech innovators.

“Connected Places Catapult is delighted to be supporting the 20 small to medium sized companies in this first cohort of the programme, and we look forward to seeing their ideas develop.”
Alex Weedon, Executive Director, Connected Places Catapult, SME Development and Academic Engagement

Meet the 20 companies and their innovations:

AceOn Group (trading as AceOn Battery Solar Technology) has developed a portable energy storage system using second-life electric car batteries, as an alternative to diesel powered generators.

Adelan will demonstrate its solid oxide fuel cell (hydrogen technology power generator) as a cleantech solution for applications including boats, trucks, planes, trains and cars to enable energy systems to decarbonise.

Box Tube has developed a rapid vehicle loading solution for tote boxes, which promises to reduce emissions by enabling efficient and convenient transfer between road and rail.

ChangeMaker 3D is developing a concrete printing technology for the UK rail sector. It is printing and installing a 3D printed toilet pod, which can integrate rainwater harvesting and solar power.

Coexlion has created a Smart Utility Case to fit to the Verdemoto food delivery vehicle to reduce last mile carbon emissions, and reduce short car journeys. It uses IoT connectivity to link orders with the vehicle.

Composite Braiding will demonstrate the net zero benefits of using lightweight advanced composites to manufacture sustainable and lower cost structural components.

Duck Tours (trading as Seahorse Amphibious Vehicles) is using second-life electric vehicle  components to electrify amphibious passenger vehicles, to promote resource efficiency.

Gaussion designs magnetic systems that improve battery performance, and aims to significantly reduce charging times and increase the lifespan of batteries for use in automotive applications.

Global Nano Network has developed a high performance current collector, designed to dramatically improve the cycle life and discharge rate of li-ion and next generation batteries.

Harry Needle Railroad Company and Advanced Hydrogen Technologies are installing a hydrogen injection system and a carbon capture unit on to a test locomotive to improve the environmental and fuel efficiency of diesel locomotives.

Hixal has developed a high power, high voltage Power Distribution Unit (PDU) and Control System for its mobile, off-grid, ultra-fast chargers with zero emissions.

Hy-Met has created a rapid and non-contact battery inspection solution to evaluate battery cell quality, that offers data crucial for new regulatory procedures such as a ‘battery passport’.

Intelligent Power Generation (trading as IPG Energy) is delivering a clean, fuel-agnostic generator to help businesses accelerate their transition to renewable fuels for distributed power.

Nedra is developing a lightweight electric vehicle using natural fibre composites, to significantly cut carbon emissions over its lifetime compared to other urban delivery and taxi electric vehicles.

Newreg (trading as is pioneering a digital platform using AI to perform vehicle inspections at the point of collection, while a dynamic pricing model evaluates a vehicle’s market value.

PowerUp Off-Grid Services is pioneering sustainable ‘Energy as a Service’ solutions, starting with the replacement of fossil fuel generators with its AI-driven battery ‘PowerStations’.

TaiSan Energy develops sustainable and low-cost battery packs for the automotive sector and has built sodium-ion battery packs, designed for micromobility vehicles.

Universal Signalling has developed a novel signalling architecture to create a step-change in the simplicity, cost and flexibility of railway signalling and train control systems.

Varamis Rail is working on a fully-electric express rail logistics business using existing 100mph former passenger trains repurposed to carry parcels, to allow freight to move between train and last-mile sustainable delivery solutions.

White Motorcycle Concepts is developing a first/last mile hybrid motorcycle with enhanced battery capacity, with a view to producing a commercially available vehicle by the middle of 2024.

Clean Futures Accelerator Cohort Brochure
File Type: pdfFile size: 3.3MB

Clean Futures is being led by Connected Places Catapult in collaboration with the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation, Coventry University and CU Services Limited. It is part of the wider West Midlands Innovation Accelerator, which is designed to bolster the region’s innovation and R&D capability and spark commercial growth and investment. The West Midlands Innovation Accelerator is delivered in partnership with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, Innovate UK and the West Midlands Combined Authority.