What is the CREST Programme?
The Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) Programme has been developed with the aim of providing industry in the border region with research and development assistance, including demonstration and testing facilities, for innovative renewable energy and sustainable technology projects.
CREST is a programme supported by the EU INTERREG IVA Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. CREST aims to enhance the capacity and capability of 150 small businesses to engage in product and process research, development and innovation in the area of renewable energy and sustainable technologies through the process of knowledge transfer and provision of fit-for-purpose facilities and expertise. In doing so, businesses will be encouraged to develop new and adapted existing products and processes which will ultimately increase their turnover, export sales, efficiency and profitability. CREST will encourage small businesses to adopt a more sustainable approach within their business through the demonstration of market-leading renewable energy and sustainable technologies.
The objective of the programme is to bring innovative products or services closer to commercialisation. Depending on the nature of the project, the CREST teams can provide approximately 1-2 weeks of time and resources free of charge to assist local companies in developing a product or service in the renewable energy or sustainable technologies sectors.
Type of assistance available from the CREST programme includes:
- Developing prototypes
- Testing new or innovative products
- Carrying out research relating to particular product/service areas
- Investigating further finance options
- Identifying and directing businesses towards further areas of assistance
For further details on the type of services and equipment available please refer below to “What type of assistance is available through CREST”
CREST has four main delivery partners:
Cavan Innovation and Technology Centre (CITC) is partnered with South West College (lead partner); Institute of Technology, Sligo; Dumfries & Galloway College. The four CREST partners will work together to provide the broadest possible range of knowledge, expertise and facilities to assist businesses with their renewable energy and sustainable technology projects.
Where & When is CREST assistance available?
CREST assistance for eligible businesses and projects is available from CITC, or from any of our CREST partners. Assistance will be available from June 2013 until the end of 2014 and during that period, 36 projects in the local border region will receive assistance from the CREST team at CITC. Overall, approximately 150 projects in total will receive assistance from the four partners.
Who is eligible for CREST assistance?
CREST assistance is available to SMEs (small to medium enterprises) in the border counties and can be provided to individual entrepreneurs or larger businesses with up to 250 employees. However, priority will be given to smaller businesses with 0-50 employees. Businesses and entrepreneurs from any sector can be eligible for CREST assistance, provided the project under consideration has a renewable energy and/or sustainable technology aspect to it. Examples of groups who are not eligible for CREST assistance include public bodies, charities, and community or volunteer groups. If you have a query regarding eligibility of your business or your project idea, please contact us using the contact details provided below.
What type of assistance is available through CREST?
The four CREST partners will form a support network of specialist innovation colleges and centres. The CREST teams and their facilities are available to assist with research, development and testing of innovative renewable energy and sustainable technology ideas as well as demonstrating how these can be integrated practically e.g. into domestic or business settings. In particular, CREST staff and facilities are available to small businesses or entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas but who currently do not have the physical and/or technical capacity to research, develop, test or commercialise their ideas.
Services available through CREST include:
- R&D (e.g. design, prototyping and testing) of renewable energy systems and sustainable technologies
- Advice and mentoring on renewable energy and sustainable technologies.
- Demonstration of new and retrofit technologies
- Developing and testing of sustainable construction methods and materials
- Innovative product and component design
- Development of demonstration prototypes and models
- Data analysis and performance monitoring
Examples of some of the equipment available through CREST include:
- Calorimetric apparatus
- Pyrolysis test facility
- Pelletiser/briquette manufacture
- Biogas lab scale digesters
- Energy Storage
- Hydro system components
- Turbine blade repair
- 3D paper printer
- 3 axis CNC
- Photovoltaics; Solar; Ground Source Heat Pumps
- Pressure testing
What types of projects are eligible under CREST?
The following list describes the type of projects eligible for assistance:
- Developing new or improved renewable energy products or processes
- Converting waste to energy e.g. agricultural, domestic, industrial waste
- Sustainable construction e.g. new or improved building materials/methods
- Innovative Water conservation e.g. rainwater harvesting/recycling systems
- Innovative Waste reduction/recycling products or systems
- Sustainable development in areas such as manufacturing, transport, agriculture
How much does it cost to avail of CREST assistance?
CREST assistance is provided free of charge to eligible businesses or individual entrepreneurs who have an eligible project under CREST.
What do I do if I am interested in CREST assistance?
If you are interested in CREST assistance, or if you have an idea for a project that you would like to discuss, please contact us using the contact details below.
Where can I get more information about CREST?
If you would like more information about CREST please follow the related links on this page and/or contact us using the contact details below:
CREST contact details at Cavan Innovation and Technology Centre (CITC):
Gerard Woods – 087 0563241
Andrea Corrigan – 087 6131258
Cavan ITC – 049 4377277