Since 2005, the Shell Springboard programme has awarded £2 million to 53 small businesses who have developed new ways of cutting carbon emissions. The awards are designed to provide a springboard for many businesses by giving them a financial boost as well as raising their profile in order to help them secure investment.

One of last year’s winners, Cella Energy, was awarded £40,000 for their innovative hydrogen storage technology, bringing the prospect of hydrogen fuelled cars one step closer to reality.  Since winning, Cella Energy has made rapid progress attracting further investment and the company is now working with global strategic partners to develop their technology. The company valuation has increased almost ten-fold.

Speaking as the awards programme opened for this year’s entry, Stephen Voller, CEO of Cella Energy said:

“Winning the Shell Springboard award was a huge boost to our business. It was an excellent platform to showcase our technology and helped us secure global investment. I encourage anyone with a good idea for tackling the climate challenge to enter the awards.”

Graham van’t Hoff Chairman of Shell UK, said: “Small businesses are currently developing an abundance of low-carbon technologies. Shell Springboard offers no-strings financial awards to these businesses to progress their ideas and help these technologies come to fruition."

The Shell Springboard Awards are open to UK based SMEs that have inventive business ideas to tackle climate change. These must be ideas which:

  • will lead to greenhouse gas reductions;
  • are commercially viable;
  • are innovative

Awards of £20,000 to £40,000 are on offer with £320,000 awarded each year to companies from across the UK.

Previous winners include:

  • Ashwoods Automotive Ltd (2010), which has designed a product that regulates and lengthens the lifespan of electric car batteries. Since winning the award, they have added a further £70,000 of investment. Ashwoods Energy is now forecast to turnover £400,000 in 2011 with a profit of £100,000.
  • Cambridge Carbon Capture (2010), which has created technology that captures and stores CO2 from the atmosphere. The product also produces CO2 free electricity in addition to carbonate which can be sold to the building industry.
  • Naked Energy Ltd (2010), which has developed a solar panel which is able to generate both electricity and hot water in cool climates. Since winning, they have secured all of their seed capital investment and obtained a development agreement with Imperial College.
  • Aeristech (2010) a firm which developed a system that enables car manufacturers to downsize engines cutting emissions and cost without reducing performance. Since winning Shell Springboard they have secured an additional £500,000 of investment. 
  • Shiply.com (2009) transports goods in empty lorries on their return legs. Since winning Shell Springboard, Shiply.com has expanded by 200%. It has also just reached a milestone of saving more than 10 million unnecessary road miles.
  • Scottish Bioenergy (2009) uses algae to convert CO2 emissions into biodiesel. Since winning the award, the company has installed an algae treatment system at The Famous Grouse’s Glenturrett Distillery near Perth, in addition to establishing a number of partnerships within the whisky industry.
  • Oxy-gen Combustion (2008) makes leaner burning motor engines with its Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI). Since winning a Shell Springboard award, it has formed a partnership with Michelin and the Scottish Government.

The deadline for 2011 entries is 4th November 2011. Full details and an online application form can be found at www.shellspringboard.org.

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