Last week I joined other speakers for the North West Insider ‘Made in the UK’ event at the Merseyside Maritime Museum to talk about our destination-led approach to energy innovation at Protos.

The message that I wanted to communicate was that now is the right time to start bringing together forward-thinking organisations and start-ups within the region to collaborate.

Protos sits within the industrial heartland of the North West which spans from Ellesmere Port and across to Runcorn. It is here that we want to set a national blueprint for how energy and industry can sit side-by-side, becoming greater than the sum of their parts.

I also spoke about the notion of clustering, part of the energy strategy that is seeing Protos come to life. We’re already home to wind turbines, biomass generators and a future energy from waste facility. By promoting this energy mix, we’re creating indigenous sources that can be fed directly into surrounding businesses.

We know from our links with large businesses, that secure, low-cost and low-carbon energy is at the bedrock of successful enterprise. Protos has the flexibility and future expansion capacity to accommodate both a range of energy generators, and plots for businesses to locate to. We’re also exploring the potential for private electricity wires, heat networks and direct hydrogen gas supplies to existing and future users.

Partnerships are central to our approach to Protos. If this vision of future energy is going to become a reality it is vital that we work together for the benefit of the regional economy. We’re working closely with the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone to promote Government incentives. We’re also a flagship Northern Powerhouse project, securing international investment.

With new energy concepts being developed locally, we provide the next step for these ideas to become a reality. Protos offers the space and incentives to scale up from demonstration to commercial delivery.