16.-(Innovative-Firms)-17Apr13

17 Apr 2013 Innovative Firms Rewarded for Low Carbon Ideas

Three innovative businesses have been awarded a total of £110,000 by Shell to help develop pioneering ideas that could put them at the cutting-edge of the UK’s new low carbon economy.

AlbaTERN Ltd, from Edinburgh, which designs wave energy devices that capture energy from ocean waves and Firefly Solar Generators Ltd from East Sussex which produces portable solar generators each received £40,000 awards for their innovative technologies and were announced as Regional Winners in the annual Shell Springboard event in Edinburgh last night (16th April).

David Ball Group plc from Cambridgeshire received £30,000 for its new concept for the construction industry that creates a new, low carbon cement based concrete.

Run by Shell, the high profile programme aims to find the next big idea in low carbon enterprise and innovation by small and medium enterprises.

AlbaTERN, Firefly Solar Generators and David Ball Group plc saw off more than 120 companies to secure places at the Edinburgh heat of this year’s competition and impressed judges with their technologies.

AlbaTERN’s innovation converts wave energy into sustainable low-carbon electricity by using a series of road transportable base modules that are interconnected mechanically, hydraulically and electrically, presenting a scalable method of capturing marine energy.

Firefly Solar Generators portable solar generators are aimed at for both events and companies looking for a reliable and clean source of energy.

David Ball Group plc has created a new, low carbon cement based concrete by retaining the formula associated with traditional concrete but changing only the hydraulic binder used in the usual aggregates, water and binder mixture.

AlbaTERN and Firefly Solar Generators will now go head to head with the regional winners from the Newcastle and Oxford events at the national final held in London on 14th May.

Now in its eighth year, Shell Springboard has awarded over £2.25 million to 62 small businesses that have developed new ways of cutting CO2. According to the Confederation of Business Industry, low carbon products and services are now worth more than £120 billion a year to the UK economy, 8% of the UK’s GDP.

David Findlay from AlbaTERN said: “This is fantastic news and is going to make a huge difference to where we are at the moment.  The credibility that goes with winning an award like this is extremely important to us and is confirmation of the work the AlbaTERN team has been doing over the past four or five years.   The funding will be put toward production and product development.”

Nick McAllister from Firefly Solar Generators Limited said: “It is amazing to get recognition from such a prestigious programme as Shell Springboard. It’s a real confidence boost for the team to know that a company like Shell believes there is a future in the kind of technology we are developing.  The funding will be used to part fund our product development programme and will aid the acceleration and growth of our current product range.”

Professor Peter Hewlett from David Ball Group plc said: “Simply put we are ecstatic.  The status of winning an award like this is key because it will add credibility to the concept.  We have to persuade others of the credibility and the funding will come in very useful to help us do this.  We want to get things independently accredited and we want to take the message to the industry, which means we may have to run seminars and produce publications to get our message across.”

Angus Gillespie, Vice President for CO2 at Shell added: “Shell Springboard celebrates the inventiveness of small companies in the face of big challenges from climate change and the rising demand for energy. AlbaTERN, Firefly Solar Generators and David Ball Group embody this idea to the core. I congratulate them on their success and wish them, and all the other finalists, the best of luck for the future.”17. (Select Innovations) 8Mar12