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The Bryden Centre at Queens has launched the project Zero Carbon Cooperative Innovation and Developing Entrepreneurship for a New Tomorrow (0CCIDENT) funded through the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund.

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About the project

This project is piloting an approach which builds on human and natural capital to accelerate green growth. It was designed in partnership with industry, community, and regional government stakeholders to address barriers and promote opportunities arising from net-zero transitions within Northern Ireland - a disproportionately large emitter within the UK.  Based on the concept of a cross sectoral Zero-Carbon Cooperative the project is focused on developing economic activities which seek to maximise the value of naturally sequestered carbon.

The broad concept of a zero-carbon cooperative identifies and exploits decarbonisation opportunities which arise at the interface of multiple sectors e.g. agriculture, manufacturing and energy. Waste streams from different sectors are re-purposed to generate energy, goods and services while reducing dependence on fossil fuel derived energy and products.

 

By supporting new entrepreneurial capability, 0CCIDENT will help to create new products and services which can be designed to specifically support aligned sectors including construction, materials, transport, manufacturing, and energy. The approach will accelerate the adoption of green technology and support decarbonisation of business and supply chains

A general introduction to Zero Carbon Cooperatives can be found here

The project has three major themes:
Pilot feasibility evaluation: Targeted analysis of technoeconomic opportunities and environmental and social impact of possible zero carbon cooperatives at strategic locations within Northern Ireland. Three examples have been selected in different council areas:

  1. Fermanagh and Omagh

  2. Causeway Coast and Glens

  3. Mid and East Antrim  

Companies, farmers, communities, and individuals are welcome to get involved via ZeroCarbonCoops@qub.ac.uk

Innovation and training academy: Training programme incorporating a blend of technical skills and a mini-MBA in leadership and enterprise which is built on successful pilot programmes.  Building on the training programme an innovation incubator will encourage and facilitate business opportunities focused on developing and supporting sustainable solutions which will accelerate the formation of zero-carbon cooperatives.


Community engagement: These centre on engaging communities in the development of zero-carbon cooperatives. This includes activities which seek to evidence community understanding of zero carbon, opportunities for engagement and co-design of solutions, and the community acceptance of infrastructure changes needed to realise such cooperatives. 


Get involved: Contact the Zero Carbon Cooperatives Team: ZeroCarbonCoops@qub.ac.uk