ICNZ Progress so far

The first year of the project included the following highlights:

  • Recruitment of the project team
  • The Islands Community Action Network was set up, including 45 members and our first cohort of Community Resource Centres.
  • The Data Exchange platform was developed alongside data governance and a data strategy.
  • The team helped secure over £7m further grant funding for innovation projects across the three island groups
  • Partners undertook a review of current and past activities across the islands, capturing project recommendations and lessons learned.
  • We engaged with communities and organisations across the islands, including our pan-island Open Day in December 2023.
  • We identified priority areas that ICNZ could deliver most value in year two of the project (April 2024 to March 2025).

2024 Priority projects list

Through discussions with partners and stakeholders we have prioritised eight project areas for 2024-25 across the islands.

We are investigating two pan-island projects: supporting peatland restoration, as well as how we can remove blockers to smart meter rollout across the three island groups.

Our priorities in the Outer Hebrides are domestic decarbonisation, addressing emissions and fuel poverty, a waste reduction and circular economy project, and the Creed Hydrogen Skills and Innovation Centre which provides an opportunity to bring wider benefits to communities in Uist and Barra through training opportunities and exploration of local hydrogen hubs as a potential low carbon fuel.

In Orkney, our three priorities are farming and supporting the future of Orkney’s sustainable farming, raising the profile of island approaches to net zero challenges at the Island Games 2025, and piloting a digital energy heritage trail.

As well as these priorities, we will continue to develop our ICNZ toolkit around data management, community resources, research (‘Transition’) labs, real-life demonstrations, project development support, and knowledge sharing.

What next?

We are currently developing projects under each of our priority areas, so keep your eyes peeled for updates or opportunities to participate. If you have a decarbonisation problem you think could benefit from a novel approach or intervention - we are open to discussing opportunities to work together.

How to reach out to us:

For further information or to discuss collaboration opportunities, please contact [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!