By Isabella Kaminski
The Shell Springboard awards have opened for the 7th year running. Shell is now calling for entries from green entrepreneurs, who stand the chance of winning awards of between £20,000 and £40,000.
The Shell Springboard awards are open to all UK-based SMEs with inventive business ideas to tackle climate change. The ideas must be innovative and commercially viable, and must aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Since 2005, the Shell Springboard programme has awarded £2 million to 53 small businesses. 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 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 its technology. The company valuation has increased almost ten-fold.
Stephen Voller, CEO of Cella Energy says: “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.”
Other previous award winners include Naked Energy, which has developed a solar panel capable of generating both electricity and hot water in cool climates, and Scottish Bioenergy, which uses algae to convert CO2 emissions into biodiesel.
Graham van’t Hoff, Chairman of Shell UK, says: “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 deadline for 2011 Shell Springboard entries is 4 November 2011. Full details and an online application form can be found at www.shellspringboard.org