MEGS-KT Research Project Interim Reporting October 2012
Contents• Context• Aims• Methods• Results (achievements to note and initial technical development)• Barriers, limitations and the next stage (WP3, WP4)• Transferability, sustainability, social impact and other benefits
MEGS-KT - Aims• Skills shortage in the renewable energy sector.• Business development needs in the energy sector to support the growth of low carbon communities• An opportunity for innovative collaboration SMEs with the HEI sector
Objectives• Construct a visual representation that describes the social nature of the SME community.• Explore and evaluate the potential of specific social network-based facilities and the role of networks in knowledge identification and transfer within the SME community.• Develop an exemplar for an e-learning environment
Mixed Methods• Literature review• Interviews with professionals from the industry• Distributed paper questionnaires and online surveys• Visual methods• Ethnographic methods/ work shadowing• Collaborative workshops and “co-design” activities (WP3 and WP4)
InsightsSMEs do not have defined roles like larger companies.SMEs have little time to research and improve their businessesNo-one understands the Green Deal (May 2012)?SMEs cannot communicate well their needs, when asked.In the current climate there is a lack of work/ of projects (architects lackprojects, construction companies lack projects).Bureaucratic methods for getting accredited discouragespeoples/companies from accreditation (subsequent lack of jobs, loss oftenders).Many people are interested in the DIY section of the sector.The construction industry is poor in terms of QA.With the Green Deal approaching there is a need for up-skilling the retro-fitindustry.Low carbon and renewable energy technologies need to be marketed tothe average client.
Summary Barriers and Limitations• Little previous research to explore the needs of SMEs in the sector (no literature)• Hard to engage SMEs• Professional bodies/networks limiting access to SMEs by “outsiders”.• Concerns about sharing commercial information from SMEs – “I prefer not to say”
Positives• Positive support from academics, professionals, Government bodies• Interest from many different sectors – academics.• Engagement with key figures working in the field.
Each of the speakers represents a factoridentified in the research, which aims both touncover the barriers to the growth of thesecompanies and to provide a training solution.Robin Nicholson is an architect and hasworked closely with Government and policymakers heading Think Tanks aboutsustainable buildings and urbaninfrastructure. He will be exploring thebarriers to business growth from an urbanand policy perspective.Russell Smith will be telling his story aboutsetting up his own award winning company inthis field and why he had to take theapproach he did to meet the needs ofhouseholders.Terry McGiven will be talking aboutinnovative training opportunities he has setup with European Commission funds forcompanies in London at the Institute forSustainabilityJohn Davis a highly inspirational speakerwill be talking about the Green Deal.