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12th – 16th January 2015

Another Monday journey to Swindon, and another trip with the boss talking through all sorts over multiple cups of tea, before a busy day in the office. This week began with a meeting on our links to the KTN from the thematic programmes followed by a quick lunch with Nick Cliffe before I joined the meeting of the thematic group Heads covering operational matters. I then had catch ups with the Events team over future plans and the Finance team over the latest budgets and forecasts before heading to my hotel and a quick drink with Natalie from the comms team.

The next morning I discussed our Clean and Cool Mission alumni data with our evidence expert. An audit of the 64 companies who went on past Clean and Cool Missions revealed over £550m in investments and funding and we wanted to ensure the analysis was as meaningful as possible and showed us all the important effects we had achieved with the investment.

My next meeting was with the MetOffice on a possible future joint work to help companies make the most of environmental data. We ran a well subscribed Solving Business Problems with Environmental Data competition last year which showed the demand from business for a deeper understanding of the risks and opportunities form the environmental externalities affecting their markets. Not all need an innovation project to respond so providing a combined ‘front door’ to such services using publically funded environmental data as well as connecting with communities of industry experts in using data to provide services makes sense to us.

A brief interview on how we embed sustainability across our programme with our Energy intern and I then headed to London for evening meetings with Forum for the Future. First up was with Nicky Conway on where we are at with use of the Horizons tool and working with my colleagues. In honesty I haven’t had as much time to dedicate to this as I’d like but intend to rectify that this year. We were then joined by more Forum for the Future people and colleagues from my team, the KTN and Catapults to debate how we can work together on the innovation agenda. It was a lively evening especially given we started from a sustainable future standpoint.

Wednesday brought a full day at the briefing event for the Recovering Valuable Materials from Waste competition at Hackney Town Hall. We had 140 registered and a packed agenda. There seems plenty of interest in the call so a successful day.

Thursday was a holiday before Friday I packed and prepared for the Clean and Cool Mission. I’ll be blogging every day if possible over the next week of the Mission so keep checking back and follow us on the hashtag: #cleansf

Stat of the week:  China used more cement in the last three years than the US used in the entire 20th century (

This week’s travel carbon footprint: 39 kg CO2 (next week’s will be much higher!)

Mike Pitts


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