The Solent Cluster
Innovation Zero PR & Content / Digital / Brand
The Solent Cluster is a collaboration of industry leaders, global organisations, universities and local governments focused on the decarbonisation of businesses and industry in the UK’s Solent region and beyond.
Its plans include producing low-carbon energy to heat homes, businesses, and public buildings, as well as developing sustainable fuels for the maritime and aviation industries. The successful execution of its plans will position the Solent Cluster and wider region at the forefront of low carbon fuel production in the UK and make a major contribution to the country’s 2050 Net Zero ambitions. The project could capture approximately three million metric tons of CO2 every year.
In May, The Solent Cluster attended Innovation Zero, the UK’s largest cleantech and climate tech event in its first year. It is a government-endorsed event intended to accelerate the commercialisation of decarbonisation solutions by connecting firms creating forward-thinking low carbon solutions with the expertise, funding and customers.
During the research phase of the project, we identified a number of key events to support our communications objectives over the following 12 months The list included political party conferences, academic conferences, owned events exhibitions and forums. At the top of the list was Innovation Zero. Government sponsored, it spoke directly to our objective to engage leaders from across the political spectrum, and specifically our goal to be considered by central Government for Track-funding.
With this in mind, our primary objective for the event focused on engaging senior government officials in order to communicate why The Solent Cluster was the scheme to support, as well as sharing the rapid progress the Cluster had made since its inception.
We developed a campaign strategy that centred on maximising the value of the Cluster’s investment at the event. We developed a programme of activities to take place before, during and after the conference, with an integrated campaign that encompassed PR, social media, video, public affairs and bespoke event management. Underpinning every activity and communication was the need to increase visibility and convey the Cluster’s mission, positioning it as an authoritative and trusted government funding candidate.
The MTM Agency team project managed all aspects of the Cluster’s attendance at the event. From stand design and construction to securing speaking opportunities to liaising with Cluster members around attendance and how to represent the brand, we laid out a clear and considered strategy to ensure the event was a resounding success and firmly established The Solent Cluster as a leading contender for Track-funding.
Innovation Zero itself was endorsed by the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, chaired by the Rt. Hon Dr Liam Fox MP and supported by the UK Government.
The best-in-class speaker programme put policymakers next to innovators such as The Solent Cluster and organisations looking for government support and funding to scale up the commercialisation of low carbon solutions.
To maximise this opportunity we developed a strategic public affairs programme, encompassing several elements:
On day one of the event, we secured an opportunity for Cluster to host a panel event, ‘Collaborate to Innovate’, with four of its members demonstrating the infrastructure and ambition for the Cluster. The panel, hosted by Stu Baker, director of The Solent Cluster, included Michael Foley UK Low Carbon Solutions Executive with ExxonMobil, Joss Clarke, Head of External Affairs at SGN, Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chair of The Solent Cluster and Lindsay-Marie Armstrong, Associate Professor at the University of Southampton and Solent Academic Cluster lead.
On day two, we again secured a speaker slot for Anne-Marie Mountifield, which looked at how its unique membership profile represents a ‘once in a generation opportunity’ to benefit communities, industry and commercial sectors in the region.
Established The Solent Cluster as a leading contender for Track-funding. The way the Innovation Zero event was managed by the MTM team from conception, to stand design, to social media, PR and live event management portrayed The Solent Cluster as a sophisticated and ambitious Cluster. The profile of the Cluster was elevated and meaningful connections were made.