South Wales businesses and third-sector organisations can access fully-funded support designed to help them drive innovation and boost sustainability this year, thanks to new funding secured by Circular Economy Innovation Communities (CEIC).

The Clean Growth Programme is fully funded for eligible organisations in the Cardiff Capital Region and Swansea Bay Region. It gives participants the tools they need to develop their circular economy understanding, helping them work towards Net Zero goals, enhance service levels, reduce operational costs and meet their responsibilities under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. 

The programme also supports organisations to boost innovation and develop clean growth plans that could be eligible for Welsh Government innovation funding.

In response to growing demand from businesses, eligibility for the 2024 intake has been expanded to include private-sector companies for the first time. 

CEIC programme director Gary Walpole, said: “We’re delighted to be able to extend the CEIC programmes to private companies from 2024 via the Clean Growth Programme. Diversifying this cohort will create valuable opportunities for organisations from all sectors to learn from one another, share best practice and identify mutual areas of interest.

In our experience, this collaborative approach speeds up the development of new innovations that not only benefit the organisations concerned but also the wider economy."

The new, six-month programmes start in January and February and are delivered in conjunction with Cardiff Metropolitan University and Swansea University. Up to 30 organisations in each location will come together to form new innovation communities, sharing tools, techniques and best practice to identify radical solutions to their clean growth challenges and contribute to the Welsh Government’s Net Zero Wales ambitions.

The programme includes monthly workshops and a two-day residential, along with  1-to-1 mentoring and signposting to additional support from university staff.

“With official NetZero targets formalising environmental links between organisations at all stages of the value chain, the CEIC programmes offer a real opportunity for businesses and third-sector organisations across South Wales to work together to develop plans that will reduce their carbon footprints and future proof their operations,” Gary continued.

“The importance of sustainable practices and the co-dependency of organisations is increasingly reflected in both recruitment and procurement practices, meaning there has never been a better time for organisations to review their approach and future proof their performance.”

The Clean Growth programme is funded by UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Organisations can apply via or register for one of CEIC’s free online Insight sessions to find out more.