18/06/2020 - Permalink

News from our partners: Centre for Research into Environmental Science and Technology receives second round of European funding

Related topics: Economic growth / Partner organisations

News from our partners University Centre Shrewsbury

University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) is pleased to announce that its Centre for Research into Environmental Science and Technology (CREST) has received a second round of funding for £1.1 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The funding will allow CREST to continue to focus on innovation and R&D support for environmental science-based SMEs in the Marches, with the aim of addressing the area’s productivity challenges and increasing employment during the post-COVID economic recovery.

CREST and ERDF logos

CREST and ERDF logos

Professor Eunice Simmons, Vice Chancellor of the University of Chester, said:-

“This funding is a vote of confidence in the strategic work that CREST has undertaken over the past three years, It is also an investment into the future of Shropshire. I applaud CREST’s efforts to date and look forward to what is ahead for the team.”

CREST, which is a partnership between University Centre Shrewsbury and University Centre Reaseheath, was created to develop and increase the productivity of environmental science and technology businesses in the area. The Centre recently entered a partnership with the University of Birmingham. CREST works with SMEs and start-ups in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin by providing research and specialist advice, helping SMEs to develop innovative ideas and products before bringing them to market. At its inception in 2017, the Centre received £1.2 million from the ERDF and £800,000 from the University of Chester.

CREST soil Samples

CREST soil samples

Professor Julianna Powell-Turner, Academic Research Director and Head of CREST, said:-

“Our region has the potential to establish itself as a leader in low carbon and environmental technology. CREST will play an instrumental role in building the sector in our region by providing technical and academic support, research and advice to local businesses.”



CREST’s extensive experience in environmental science and business has already supported a range of companies in renewable energy, geospatial services, manufacturing, soil and water analysis and waste. For example, the CREST team supported Voidfill, a Ludlow-based company that makes environmentally-friendly packaging, to prepare a new product for market through funding, initial product testing at Marches Centre of Manufacturing and Technology, accessing finance and introducing the company to potential collaborators and buyers.

CREST has also developed a number of research initiatives to support local SMEs, including the Shrewsbury Geospatial and Water Forums. Pascale Bodevin, CREST team member, has recently accepted the position of Vice Chair to the Shrewsbury Geospatial Forum. In response to CREST webinars on Smart Rural and Digital Connectivity that were held during lockdown, Lord Lucas has asked Vicki Ayton, CREST Business Development Manager, to sit on a Westminster Parliamentary working group: Smart Rural and Coastal Economies Policy Framework Task Force.

As it moves into its second phase, CREST is proud to announce that Dr Anne Wheeler will become the new Chair of its Industry Advisory Panel. Dr Wheeler is a prominent environmental scientist who has worked in the sector for more than 20 years, most recently as Chair of the Severn Rivers Trust.

Dr Anne Wheeler

Dr Anne Wheeler

Dr Wheeler said:-

“I was somewhat surprised and very flattered to be voted in as Chair of the Industrial Advisory Panel (IAP) at CREST. The IAP is comprised of members with a range of expertise and experience and I feel privileged to be working with them, and the staff at CREST, to facilitate research and work with businesses throughout Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin.”

If you would like to discuss what CREST has to offer your business, you may reach the team at: crest@ucshrewsbury.ac.uk or 01743 297561.

Now in its fifth year, University Centre Shrewsbury offers high quality teaching, learning and research on 23 undergraduate and 11 postgraduate degree programmes. Set within the medieval and beautiful town of Shrewsbury, we offer a supportive community of passionate and inspiring academics and staff who strive to ensure our students can pursue their individual interests and academic goals.