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The Science and Tech start-ups powering the green recovery

Legal & General

5 min read Partner content

Science, technology, and innovation are set to play a critical role in helping the nation to meet its ambitious target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

In our world-class universities, in established digital industries, and in the new start-ups in our major towns and cities, an army of modern-day innovators are now working on game-changing, disruptive ideas that can deliver economic, social and environmental goals.

“The UK has a history of pioneering research and discovery,” Stephen Metcalfe, the Conservative MP and former chair of the Science & Technology Committee, tells us. “Green and efficient infrastructure tied with sustainable start-ups and SMEs will be at the core of our future competitive success.”

But to supercharge this sector, it's vital to connect the best of these ideas to the right financial support.

That means that there is an urgent need to find new ways to fund innovation, of linking institutional money to new ideas. This will allow them to grow, thrive, and deliver truly global impact.

Bruntwood SciTech: A Home for Innovation

Bruntwood SciTech is a joint venture between Legal and General and property firm Bruntwood.

Focusing on the UK’s regions and cities, it has become the UK’s largest property platform dedicated to driving science and technology growth.

“With the wealth of talent we have here in the UK, the science and tech sectors really have the power to transform society,” says Bruntwood SciTech's Chief Executive, Kate Lawlor.

Lawlor describes what she sees as “unrivalled opportunities for start-ups and SMEs to scale ideas and commercialise innovation, particularly in areas such as greentech, cleantech and low carbon industries”.

For that scale up to happen, great tech start-ups need a great place to base themselves, somewhere to call home as they grow and develop.

That is why, across the UK, in core cities like Manchester, Leeds, and Birmingham Bruntwood SciTech is now providing the infrastructure support that start-ups need to grow and thrive.

This week Bruntwood SciTech was announced as the University of Manchester's partner to deliver ID (Innovation District) Manchester, a new £1.5bn innovation district across four million sq ft in the centre of the city. The scheme will operate as an exemplar in urban regeneration, setting new benchmarks for mixed-use, net-zero carbon development.

Delivered over a 15-year period, ID Manchester will support the growth of the UK’s science and technology infrastructure, creating 10,000 full time jobs and facilitating the commercialisation of knowledge, ideas and innovation generated from one of the world’s leading universities.

Bruntwood SciTech has also delivered innovation hubs like ‘Platform’ in Leeds, a cluster of over 80 of the region’s most innovative and disruptive digital and tech startups, Manchester Science Park, which now boasts over 150 fast-growth start-ups, scale ups and global businesses, and most recently the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus, which will become the first campus in the Midlands dedicated to translational health and life sciences research. BHIC offers a "massive opportunity to help SMEs in this industry grow" according to local MP Steve McCabe. 

By hosting a total of over 500 knowledge and innovation intensive businesses, Bruntwood SciTech is giving UK innovation a home. 

Here we take a look at some of the science and tech start-ups delivering positive change.


As any gym-goer knows, when exercising you are using a lot of energy. The more energy you use, the better the workout.

But where does all of that energy go?

Innovation Birmingham-based Energym is a UK tech start-up that came up with the bright idea that the energy you expend during your workout should not be wasted. Instead, supported through the partnership between Legal & General and Bruntwood, they have developed exercise equipment which captures and converts human energy into useable electrical power.

Now you can improve your own fitness and the health of the environment at the same time. What a great incentive for a workout. 


Hallidays Hydropower

Humans have been harnessing the power of water for over 2000 years.

However, although hydropower is renewable energy, it could do more for local communities, aquatic wildlife and biodiversity.

Hallidays Hydropower has a vision for a future where hydropower can become a clean, efficient, and affordable source of energy across the globe.

They are revolutionising the hydropower industry by developing new technology which works in harmony with the environment and the aquatic ecosystem.

With the support of Bruntwood SciTech, the future of energy production could well turn out to be water-powered.

The Blair Project

By 2030 there will be 694,000 new jobs in the green economy.

The Manchester based Blair Project is making sure that young people from all parts of our communities have the knowledge, skills and confidence to access these new jobs.

Based at Bruntwood SciTech’s Circle Square, the Blair Project works with 13–19-year-olds to convert old petrol go-karts into clean and speedy e-karts.

Along the way, they learn about, and experiment with, advanced technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, and graphene batteries.

With the right support, this project will help hundreds of young people become the innovators, technicians, and engineers of the future.

Supercharging Science and Technology

By investing in sector specialist infrastructure like that provided by Bruntwood SciTech, Legal & General is building a pathway for innovative UK companies that will lead to the development and commercialisation of ideas that can deliver economic, social, and environmental returns.  

But the scale and imminence of climate change confers on governments a responsibility to design legislation and regulation to encourage all market participants, including insurance and asset managers, to play their part.

A Legal & General spokesperson said: “With the help of Legal & General investment, Bruntwood SciTech is helping to build the companies of tomorrow.

"We are investing in the green, digital infrastructure needed for innovative research to flourish. And with our support, ideas become start-ups, start-ups become scale-ups, and some of those scale-ups will go on to have a global impact.”

Legal & General is a global specialist in funding net zero technologies, matching institutional money to new ideas that can contribute to a greener future. 

Find out more about how Legal & General are supporting the road to Net Zero 


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