Dr Martin Bigg appointed as Director of the Environmental Technologies iNet

Issue date: 05 April 2011


The University of the West of England is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Martin Bigg as Director of the Environmental Technologies iNet. He joins the £2 million UWE-led project, which provides support to businesses in the South West’s cleantech sector, from the Environment Agency, where he was Head of Industry and Waste Regulation.

Dr Bigg was a member of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, is a regular supporter of World Bank programmes on improving environmental regulation and performance, and has worked with UK and EU governments to help develop policies and legislation.

In his previous role he provided national business leadership and delivered the regulation of the manufacturing, energy and waste industries in England and Wales. He brings a wealth of experience in developing partnerships with businesses, regulators and interest groups and is looking forward to taking up his post in the iNet Hub on UWE’s Frenchay Campus.

“I am delighted to be involved with a project that will have a lasting impact on the region’s low carbon economy,” Dr Bigg said of the role.  “The development of environmental industries and leading edge technologies is a subject close to my heart, so directing an initiative that nurtures and supports their emergence and commercialisation is a very exciting prospect.

“The calibre of the consortium partners backing the iNet is testament to the importance of its aims and the timeliness of its inception. The combined resources of UWE, Regen South West, University of Bristol, University of Exeter and Bristol City Council represents an influential new catalyst for driving innovation and assisting high growth businesses.”

The Environmental Technologies iNet is one of five ‘Networking for Innovation’ projects in the region (excluding Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly), each focusing on a key growth sector. By utilising a range of free tools and services they help companies access specialist knowledge, develop products and services, improve competitiveness and engage with new routes to market.

They are part of a wider government support programme entitled ‘Solutions for Business’ and are supported by £12.5 million of funding from the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA), the European Regional Development fund (ERDF) and partner investments.

UWE is also leading on the Biomedical and Microelectronics iNets, while Creative Industries and Aerospace & Advance Engineering are led by South West Screen and the West of England Aerospace Forum respectively.

Dr Bigg will work closely with the other iNet directors, as well as representatives from existing regional and national networks, to ensure opportunities for cross-sector collaboration are encouraged and supported. 

Professor Paul Olomolaiye, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of UWE’s Faculty of Environment and Technology, is looking forward to welcoming Dr Bigg to the University.  “Having an individual with Dr Bigg’s knowledge and experience join the iNet Hub is great news for these important projects and the University as a whole”, he said.  “UWE is very proud to be leading three of the five iNets.  They give us a fantastic opportunity to build upon our established reputation for working effectively with industry partners, engaging with the region’s SMEs and increasing the flow of knowledge between academia and business.

“The Environmental Technologies iNet provides tangible support to a key growth sector that has a huge impact on the South West of England’s economy.  Dr Bigg has a leading role to play in shaping this important initiative and supporting the future of the region’s cleantech businesses. UWE is delighted to welcome him aboard.”

Prior to taking up his senior role with the Environment Agency, Dr Bigg worked in the chemical industry and for a government unit.  He holds degrees from University of Bristol, University of Salford and University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and is a council member of the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) chairing its Professional Standards Committee.

He has led (in collaboration with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Health and Safety Executive) the joint Competent Authority Senior Management Group implementing the Control of Major Accident Hazards regulation.

Dr Bigg commences his new role this week.  To contact the Environmental Technologies iNet call 0117 32 86711 or e-mail environmental@inet-sw.co.uk.

FFI: Jane Kelly or Mary Price, Press Officers

BRISTOL UWE

Tel: 0117 32 82208

E-mail: Jane.Kelly@uwe.ac.ukor Mary.Price@uwe.ac.uk

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