Peter Head appointed champion for innovation and entreprise for growth area. Details of Thames Gateway Institute also revealed

A key sustainability figure at multi-disciplinary group Arup is to take up a role shaping the development at the Thames Gateway. Peter head is to become champion for innovation and enteprise for the growth area.

Part of his role is to forge close links between a planned Thames Gateway Institute for Sustainability and other, similarly focused Institutes being developed around the world, including a sister Institute for Sustainability in Shanghai.

An announcement by the London Development Agency this week also confirmed more details about the new sustainability institute. It claimed it would "help place the UK at the helm of environmental and sustainable developments, technologies and industries with sites across the Gateway at Dagenham Dock, at Kent Thameside and in South Essex".

Sustainable plans for the area include:

  • Dagenham Dock Sustainable Industries Park – a research and development centre focusing on sustainable construction, renewable energy, waste, recycling and reuse
  • Green buidlings centre in Dartford, Kent – a research and development centre for integrated resource management for low impact buildings and low impact communities
  • A Bio-Renewable Energy Research Park in South Essex – a research and development centre leading on new, sustainable bio-energy technologies for electricity, heat and transport fuel

Jim Brathwaite, chair of South East England Development Agency, said: “The Institute for Sustainability will be a development of international significance with close links to China. It will help us deliver the Thames Gateway eco region and help build the Gateway as a location for globally important research and practical demonstration, driving environmental innovation and enterprise.”

Head's new role will be to ensure that the area is at the forefront of developing new environmental technologies, products and services to help it become the UK’s first eco-region and the first choice for investment by businesses, especially those with an environmental focus.

The plan also includes environmental measures such as an extensive retro-fitting programme for existing buildings in the Gateway to improve their energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.