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The Shell Springboard Awards - Previous Winners

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by Startacus Admin

The Shell Springboard Awards - Previous Winners

shellOil companies aren’t exactly the first thing that springs to mind when we think ‘eco-friendly’- not to put too fine a point on it.  

But as we are ever the optimists here at Startacus, we were delighted to announce again last week that Shell (yes Shell, the oil giant) is to return once again with its springboard programme aimed at providing no-strings attached funding to some of the UK’s most promising and innovative low carbon technology start-ups.

If you missed it you can find all the details you will need here or for a spot of inspiration (and because we find this kind of thing devilishly interesting) here’s some of the winners from previous years:

  • Vantage Power (2013) are (having secured even more investment) in the process of building a prototype of their innovative ‘hybrid-electric powertrain’ which can be retrofitted to existing buses as a replacement for their engine and gearbox. The system will, when implemented reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions by around 40% -  we're not entirely sure how it all works, but it does sound jolly clever!

  • Select Innovations (2012) have developed a range of ultra-smart street lighting systems which are highly energy efficient, reactive to changes in ambient light and can be fitted to existing lamp-posts. The idea is to reduce energy consumption and make existing streetlights more eco-friendly. Norfolk Council has pioneered a scheme which saw a 46% reduction in the energy used...illuminating stuff!

  • Scottish Bioenergy (2009) is a company which is leading the way in biological innovation with its algae photobioreactors for carbon capture, wastewater treatment - and biochemical production certainly sounds eco-friendly.  Since winning their award the company has continued to expand and is now working in collaboration with a number of large institutions including University College Dublin.   

  • Firefly Solar Generators (2013) have taken solar energy on the road with their original eco-friendly power sources aimed at events, festivals or anywhere else where compact and portable energy is needed. Their hybrid generators make full use of the sun’s energy and switch seamlessly to a traditional diesel motor to supplement them with the natural changes in photovoltaic energy (N.B. that’s our favourite word so far today!). The BBC recently commissioned 3 of the generators to power the lights on its hit show Dragons’ Den.

  • Antaco (2013) has developed a bio-coal which is made from biological waste and helps to solve two major ecological problems in one great idea.  The bio-coal is comprised of difficult to dispose of waste products such as food, sewage and agricultural byproducts and as a result is carbon neutral. It also produces more heat than its fossil-fuel counterpart. They have recently been the recipients of a grant from the DECC and plan to replace traditional coal use in a number of power stations.  

  • Innova Ltd  (2011) took on a challenge which has been a major hindrance to  the level of energy which can be produced by wind turbines. Their innovative tilting turbines alter their angle to correct for the changing direction of the wind, meaning that the problem of turbulence (which slows the turn of  the blades and wastes valuable energy) is significantly alleviated.  

We really could go on chatting about this topic all day and we would have no shortage of  inspiration as there are over 70 fantastic innovations which have been recipients of the award in its 9 year history....

If you have an idea that you think has a shot at  this prize then be sure to complete your application by December 13th.

Do also Check out the Startacus business toolkit for a growing directory of all the business bits-and-bobs, links and articles you may need - no matter what business you are considering starting and get working on your business idea in our virtual workspace (there self promotion done too!) 

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Published on: 13th November 2013

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