Small enterprises looking for a “no strings attached” financial boost to aid the development of innovative, low-carbon business ideas can now apply for an award from Shell Springboard. Now in its eighth year, Shell Springboard offers businesses the chance to win up to £40,000 to help make their commercially viable ideas a reality.

The green economy accounts for one-third of the UK’s growth*, encompasses 50,000 businesses and employs almost one million people. However, despite the amount of clean-tech business ideas bubbling away, many small enterprises have been struggling to find ways into mass commercialisation.

Since 2005, Shell has awarded over £2.25 million to 62 small businesses that have developed new ways of cutting carbon emissions.

Last year’s winner, Select Innovations, was awarded £40,000 for its innovative  EnLight technology, a product designed to help local authorities keep street lights on by reducing power consumption. At a time when many councils are considering turning off one in every 10 street lights to save money,  EnLight delivers savings of up to 45 percent by improving the efficiency of street lights. If the eight million street lamps in the UK were all to use EnLight technology, this would save the UK 1 million tonnes of CO2 each year.

On winning the 2012 award, David Aarons, Managing Director of Select Innovations said:

“We were delighted to be crowned winner of the prestigious Shell Springboard 2012 awards. The funding and recognition we have received will allow us to press ahead with our plans, scaling up our ambitions even further to save energy on the biggest roads throughout the UK.”

Graham van’t Hoff, Chairman of Shell UK, said:

“At Shell, we pride ourselves on our commitment to championing great British low carbon innovation. There are over five million small to medium sized businesses in the UK who are smart, quick and full of ideas, but finding financial support difficult to obtain. With low carbon enterprise rising up the agenda for the government and the media, it’s never been a more exciting time for businesses in this sector. If you have a commercially viable, innovative idea, I urge you to apply for the 2013 Shell Springboard Awards.”

To apply, you must:

  • be based in the UK
  • be a SME by the European definition
  • have been in business for at least three months

Previous winners include:

  • Cella Energy (2011) was awarded £40,000 for its 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 has increased almost ten-fold.
  • Naked Energy Ltd (2010),  developed a solar panel which is able to generate both electricity and hot water in cool climates. Since winning, they have secured all their seed capital investment and obtained a development agreement with Imperial College, London.
  • (2009 finalist) transports goods in empty lorries on their return legs. Since winning Shell Springboard, has expanded by 200%. It recently reached a milestone of saving more than 43 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.

To apply, please visit before 5pm on Friday, 18th January 2013.

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