The party followed the very successful Rushlight Show where over 500 delegates listened to Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, open the Cleantech Innovation Showcase; Clive Maxwell, Director General Energy Transformation at BEIS, at the UK Energy Seminar; and toured the Exhibition, incorporating the Innovate UK Energy Catalyst Round 2 Showcase and the Enterprise Ireland Pavilion.
Prof John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Adviser to BEIS, UK Head of Mission Innovation and the guest of honour at the Awards Party, having been a judge of the Rushlight Awards in its early years, reflected on past winners and the evolution of the sector over the 10 years of the awards.
Clive Hall, Founder of the Rushlight Awards, commented: "Innovation is a key driver for growth across our green economy and beyond, helping us find new ways to manage our environmental footprint, reduce costs and help put our businesses on a more sustainable footing. The progress that has been made over the last 10 years has been achieved through the successes of organisations such as those we are celebrating and promoting tonight."
The overall winner was ITM Power for their design and technological development of excess renewable energy storage systems. The excess renewable energy is used to generate hydrogen gas, which can then either be injected into the natural gas grid, offering a power-to-gas energy storage solution, or the gas can be used to refuel fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Both applications help to reduce fossil fuel dependence, fuel deliveries and environmental impact.
The other group category winners were:
1. Enviga Geothermal Ltd for their geothermal energy solutions based on screw piles acting as both building foundations and thermal energy collectors and dissipators, forming a key part of a renewable energy heating system.
2. Reactive Technologies Ltd for their Grid Data Measurement System (GDMS), a ground-breaking communications platform that can cost-effectively send and receive digital messages throughout electricity networks and through network transformers. GDMS allows electrical devices, ranging from industrial chillers to energy storage, to participate in Demand Side Response (DSR) without the need for an internet/cellular connection nor an advanced interface, which would otherwise make the rollout of DSR financially prohibitive.
3. Nextek Ltd has developed a new way of rapidly sorting packaging based on intelligent labels with invisible markers that can be detected and sorted using existing high-speed optical sorting systems used in MRFs with minor modifications. Unlike existing NIR sorting systems, this technology uses commercial labeling and decoration methods to sort targeted streams including food-contact plastics, bioplastics, chemical packaging, automotive plastics, black plastics and different grades of one plastic. This technique has the potential to create new recycling loops for food grade PP, milk bottle sorting and PET products.
4. The Greenhouse Project. The project provides a sustainable, innovative solution to the present high fossil fuel consumption and related high carbon emissions of the protected cropping industry by developing a low-cost, energy saving, climate control greenhouse system, including effective photovoltaic heat insulation solar glass, vacuum insulation panels and LED lights to achieve the temperature and lighting levels required for maximum crop productivity independent of the season. In particular, solar energy is harnessed by integrated PV modules to generate electric power, both for lighting and to drive a heat pump for charging an underground thermal energy storage medium with an innovative insulation.
Now in their 10th year, the Rushlight Awards are a celebration and a promotion of new technology, innovation and best practice across the whole environment spectrum for organisations throughout UK, Ireland and internationally. Designed to highlight innovation, initiatives and the holistic environmental benefit of technologies that are most likely to or are already creating a real impact in the market, they are a means of disseminating the successes to support further development.
The judging was performed by an independent panel of recognized experts covering all the clean technology sectors drawn from academia, trade associations and institutes, independent experts and government departments. In particular, the judges included individuals whose full or part-time roles extend to representing BEIS, Chatham House, WRAP, Carbon Trust, UKERC, Innovate UK, STFC, The Knowledge Transfer Network and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. One of the unique attributes of the Rushlight Awards is the fact that the judges are entirely independent of Eventure Media.
Eventure Media Ltd
Eventure Media launched the Rushlight Awards in 2007 and the event has gained a substantial following. As the only awards for technology developers and innovation across the whole cleantech spectrum, it has attracted the interest of companies both large and small which are leading the development of renewable energy, clean fuels, power generation, energy efficiency, sustainable products, services and agriculture, water, waste and pollution management in the UK, Ireland and internationally. In addition to the Rushlight Awards, Eventure Media runs the Rushlight Show, a range of evening Rushlight Briefings, Investor Briefings in association with Forbury Investment Network and the London Cleantech Cluster. The company also provides incubation services to early stage companies developing new clean technologies.