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Cleantech entrepreneurs can learn from industry experts at Worcestershire's Betaden

The Business Magazine article image for: Cleantech entrepreneurs can learn from industry experts at Worcestershire's Betaden
23 February 2022

Worcestershire's first dedicated accelerator for tech entrepreneurs, startups and scale-ups – BetaDen – is to help businesses turn their ideas for low and zero carbon technology into profitable new products and services.

BetaDen North is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, which is designed to support businesses in the push to the UK’s NetZero targets.

This month the initiative is launching a series of four challenge workshops at Wyre Forest House – headquarters of Wyre Forest District Council – which will see industry leaders share their knowledge, insight and examples of best practice in developing innovative, low-carbon solutions with businesses of all sizes.

Linda Smith, CEO of BetaDen, said: “BetaDen North Cleantech Bootcamp and Workshops are an industry first, bringing leading Cleantech experts from around the country to Worcestershire to share their expertise with local businesses.

“Commitments signed up to at COP26 have made decarbonising industry everyone’s business - from the smallest supply chain company to the largest OEM - and, with the county’s history of technology innovation, we’re excited by the potential of meeting these challenges head on and building a centre of excellence in the region.”

The first workshop will focus on how sustainability requirements are being incorporated into supply chains across different industries.

Eugene Smethurst, director at Atkins, Carl Arntze, CEO of Worcester Bosch, Michael Ayres, managing director at Flexible Power Systems, and Dean Attwell, founder and CEO of Oakland International will share insights drawn from their own experiences in the infrastructure, energy and haulage industries.

The second workshop takes place on Thursday 10 March, when Tony Roberts, head of Business and Public Sector Wales at Vodafone Business will be joined by Shefi Elsayed-Ali, co-founder and CEO of Carbon Re, and Andrew Moore, chief delivery officer for HLA24K Waters, to outline how Artificial Intelligence and other digital technologies are helping companies moves towards Net Zero.

This will be followed by a workshop exploring how businesses can adapt to embrace sustainability and play their part reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions to zero (Net Zero).

Bea Natzler of the Climate Change Committee (pictured), Professor David Elmes of Warwick University, William Jones, relationship manager at NatWest, and Jonathan Tudor, investment partner at The Clean Growth Fund, will explain how sustainability criteria are increasingly shaping business loan and financing assessments, along with the implications for companies and innovators of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance with respect to securing finance and investment.

The fourth and final workshop will see speakers including Peter Vale, carbon and circular economy architect with Severn Trent Water’s Innovation Team, and Dr Shai Vyakarnam, entrepreneur, mentor, educator and founding director of the Centre of Entrepreneurial Learning (Judge Business School, Cambridge) explore the opportunities that sustainability offers innovation and business development and how nurturing a culture of innovation can increasingly reap commercial rewards when it comes to future-proofing business.

Places on the workshops are free, with businesses of all sizes and innovators with Cleantech ideas invited to attend. The project is being run by Wyre Forest District Council, Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire technology accelerator BetaDen, with funding from the UK Government’s Local Community Fund.

Ostap Parega, head of North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration at Wyre Forest District Council, added: “These workshops offer an unrivalled opportunity for local businesses and innovators to hear from the leading lights in the Cleantech industry and gain the information and inspiration they need to drive their Cleantech innovations forward.

“From solutions specific to their own companies’ needs to those that can help others play their parts in the journey towards NetZero, the workshops are an exciting opportunity to share best practice, find inspiration and identify partners who can help bring your Cleantech innovation to life and, with no fee for attending, are an opportunity not to be missed.”

To find out more and to book a place on the Betaden North workshops, visit



Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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