Find out more about the opportunities we offer to those in academia and industry by reading this blog with Alex Reid, our Business Development Manager for Zero Emissions Mobility.
Tell us a little bit about what attracted you to work at ETP, the Scottish research partnership for energy?
My main motivation for joining ETP was to use my business development experience to build stronger collaborations between businesses and academic researchers working in Scotland’s transport sector.
To decarbonise the sector, we need to break down the knowledge and cultural barriers that have often blocked this type of collaboration. I firmly believe that ETP is uniquely placed to lead the work needed to achieve this objective.
What is your professional background, and how do your skills and experience help Scottish SMEs innovate?
Over the last 25 years, I’ve spent a significant amount of time working with, and occasionally for, SMEs in a number of technologies led sectors including telecommunications, finance, and transport. While the earlier parts of my career focused on product development and sales and marketing, in recent years I’ve moved towards a more consultative role, providing direct support to SMEs who need help in securing funding and resources to accelerate the commercialisation of their new product or service.
What do you enjoy most about working at ETP?
Working for ETP enables me to spend time doing the things that I’m best at and most enjoy. This means searching and building relationships with entrepreneurs, academic researchers, funders, and policymakers, and identifying opportunities to bring them together to form new collaborations that stimulate greater levels of innovation in the transport sector.
What are the most significant challenges and opportunities related to decarbonising Scotland’s transport sector?
While there remain many technical barriers that constrain the successful decarbonisation of road transport (both on-road and off-road), maritime and aviation, travel behaviours continue to reduce the speed at which carbon emissions are reduced.
Scotland has an opportunity to contribute to successfully resolving these challenges through the formation of collaborations between the business and academic research community. Through these collaborations, new components for vehicles of all sizes that are lighter, reusable and recyclable can be developed. Software that improves the performance of these vehicles over their lifespan is also needed, as are innovations in the supporting infrastructure so that the users of these vehicles have the confidence that they can easily and rapidly be recharged or refuelled.
From a behaviour change standpoint, Scotland is already investing heavily in active travel and shared (demand responsive) travel programmes. However, to successfully encourage a larger percentage of the population to travel more sustainably, innovations in business and service delivery models will be needed.
What kind of enquiries are you hoping to see from Scottish businesses, and how can they improve their chances of success with getting support from ETP?
Scotland has a well-deserved global reputation for excellence in the fields of engineering and the sciences (chemical, materials, and computers) so I really hope to receive enquiries from Scottish businesses of all sizes who have identified opportunities to apply their expertise to create innovative products or services that help to lower transport carbon emissions.
To maximise your chances of success of securing funding and support from ETP, the most important requirement is to provide us with confidence that you have identified a clear route to market for your new product or service. Ideally, this means providing evidence that you have carefully researched the market and received some level of endorsement from one or more businesses who could become customers.
How can people get in touch with you?
You can get in touch with me via the ETP Transport Theme email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or directly email@example.com. If you use LinkedIn, I’d be happy to connect with you there. My LinkedIn profile is https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexcreid/.
Do you have any closing words you would like to share?
Over the last few years, I’ve supported many businesses in securing the funding and resources they need to accelerate the development and commercialisation of their new product or service. It can often be a real challenge to identify the right person to speak to, so my closing words would be getting in touch even if you’re not sure ETP will be able to help. By the end of our initial discussion, you’ll have a clearer sense of direction in regard to securing the support that you need.