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The University of Southampton

Minister to examine how innovative business solutions can solve global environmental problems

Published: 4 March 2009

The Rt Hon John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, will discuss how UK businesses can work with universities to provide innovative solutions to global environmental problems at the University of Southampton on Friday 6 March.

He will be talking at ‘Innovation and the environment’, an event which brings together businesses, academics, support agencies and students and has been organised by the SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) team at The University of Southampton.

SIFE is an international network of university students, supported by business executives and academic leaders, dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurial skills in a way that is both effective in developing their future careers and meaningful to the community. The students, guided by university and business advisers, form a student-led SIFE team to develop sustainable projects which create economic opportunity for others.

Current University of Southampton SIFE projects include micro-lending to enterprising farmers in Madagascar, rice growing in Sierra Leone and local education projects. These activities are funded through student consultancy work, including website health checks, Facebook consultancy, and a new environmental management project – ‘Green and Clever’ – that will be launching at this event.

James Pipe, Environmental Sustainability Leader for SIFE Southampton, comments: “We are delighted to welcome so many local business leaders, academics and students to this unique event. ‘Innovation and the Environment’ is a fantastic opportunity for our community to discuss the solutions to environmental challenges that affect all our futures.”

The event starts at 2pm with an exhibition featuring local business such as The Hampshire Sustainable Business Partnership, i2O Water, Energy Saving Trust, the University of Southampton Sustainable Energy Research Group, Business Link, Solent Synergy and SIFE UK. A second seminar by Phillip Duddell from The Olive Consultancy, who will discuss ‘Sustainable Business: Myth or Reality?’, will take place at 3.30pm.

If you would like to attend this free event, please contact

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