The enterprise support programme will award one top prize of £150,000, plus a further five regional awards worth £40,000 each. Winners will be selected (when?) by an independent panel of judges drawn from academia, government and business.
Shell UK Country Chair Sinead Lynch said: “Since 2005, Shell Springboard has provided £4 million of equity-free funding to almost 100 innovative low-carbon enterprises in the UK. It’s inspiring to see so many successful examples of low-carbon innovation coming through the programme and I’m excited that we continue to work with many of our winners to help their businesses grow.”
The programme is run as part of Shell’s efforts to support the UK’s transition to a low carbon energy system, while helping to create jobs and economic growth. In addition to funding, winners receive business development feedback from experts in the low-carbon sector to help their companies reach their full potential.
Previous Shell Springboard winners include GravityLight whose technology uses gravity to generate electricity and provides a safe alternative to kerosene lamps for people in developing countries. Two years after receiving £150,000 from the programme, GravityLight has now raised enough funding to establish an assembly line in Kenya, bringing light and jobs to households that had been previously off grid. The company’s ultimate aim is to scale up the technology internationally to reach the 1.2 billion people living without electricity.
Caroline Angus from GravityLight said: “The funding and connections we made through the Shell Springboard programme have been instrumental in helping us expand and take our product to the global market.”
Gareth Thistleton, Head of Social Investment at Shell UK, said: “We are proud to have supported inspirational companies at the cutting edge of the low-carbon economy. More than eighty per cent of Shell Springboard winners remain in operation five years after starting-up, in contrast to a national average of about 45%. The ideas coming out of these businesses are not only helping to create a lower-carbon future but also supporting job creation and growth in the UK.”
Low-carbon enterprises are invited to apply online until November 6 at www.shellspringboard.org.