Mark Taylor, Deputy Director at BEIS and Head of Programme Delivery, Science and Innovation for Climate and Energy, and the guest of honour at the Awards Party, set out his past and the current activities of the department in the cleantech arena.
Clive Hall, Founder of the Rushlight Awards, commented: "Clean innovation is a key driver for growth across our whole economy, helping us find new ways to manage our environmental footprint, reduce costs and help put our businesses on a more sustainable and competitive footing. The progress that has been made over the last 11 years has been achieved in no small part through the successes of organisations such as those we are celebrating and promoting through the Awards."
The overall winner was Airponix for their innovative technology that can help to mitigate world hunger by allowing staple food crops to be grown with no soil or agricultural land, less than 15% of the normal water input, no chemicals (organic quality produce), no fossil fuels or heavy plant and yields more than 10 times the output from conventional farming. The breakthrough innovation is its ability to create engineered fogs to feed the roots and foliage, as opposed to mists or sprays which conventional aeroponic systems use, and this is achieved by using the well-proven piezoelectric technology of inkjet printer heads resulting in a greater than 90% saving in energy requirements. Through the use of low-cost growth chambers, the system is resilient to weather extremes and climate change effects.
The group category winners were:
1. Fraunhofer UK Research working with Wind Farm Analytics Ltd and Thales UK (Optronics) Ltd for their Project AMFIBIAL which seeks to commercialise a floating triple beam LIDAR (laser wind measurement) for the offshore wind industry.
2. Reactive Technologies Ltd for GridMetrix, an advanced, cloud-based grid measurement and analytics platform that delivers unique system data and deep insights to help manage electric systems in real-time. It enables grid operators to integrate safely increased amounts of renewable generation and make more efficient and cost-effective grid investment and procurement decisions.
3. Greater Than have developed a technology, based on deep machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), that can analyse driving and assess risk in real-time. The technology (Enerfy) is a platform, which includes a hardware plug-in, the consumer's smartphone, and their cloud-based service with algorithms and AI. With their technology analysing in real-time, the driver gets feedback and information in their smartphone immediately.
4. Heriot-Watt University for the SCORRES Project with 5 other partners – Auraventi Ltd, Scene Connect, Findhorn Foundation College, Auroville Consulting and Auroville Centre for Scientific Research . The project is developing a robust, efficient, affordable and smart irrigation system to help tackle the food, water, energy trilemma. The system combines a highly localised weather forecast with local know-how on irrigation needs and soil conditions, to produce a 'right time, right volume' approach to micro-irrigation. The test system has increased crop yields, reduced labour and composting requirements and reduced water and energy consumption, leading to improved utilisation of power, increased grid stability and potential higher farmer revenues.
5. SteamaCo for their Internet of Things technology which enables companies to sell clean energy in frontier markets. Their Energy Autopilot enables its customers to sell energy anywhere on the planet and is simple, robust and four times cheaper than comparable smart meter platforms.
The complete list of Rushlight Awards winners is set out below:
The Rushlight Award Overall Winner: Airponix Ltd
Group categories Winner:
Rushlight Natural Energy Award - Fraunhofer UK Research (AMFIBIAL)
Rushlight Clean Energy Award - Greater Than
Rushlight Energy Environmental Award - Reactive Technologies Ltd
Rushlight Resource Innovation Award - Heriot-Watt University (SCORRES)
Rushlight Environmental Management Award - SteamaCo
Direct entry categories Winner:
Rushlight Solar Award - Solapak Systems Ltd
Rushlight Ground & Air Source Power Award - D'Ascanio Research Ltd
Rushlight Wind Power Award - Fraunhofer UK Research (AMFIBIAL)
Rushlight Marine & Hydro Energy Award - Tidal Harness Ltd
Rushlight Bioenergy Award - Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Energy Agency
Rushlight Powered Transport Award - Greater Than
Rushlight Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Award - ITM Power
Rushlight Power Gen and Transmission Award - Reactive Technologies Ltd
Rushlight Fossil Fuels Award - Immaterial Labs Ltd
Rushlight Nuclear Energy Award - DavyMarkham Ltd
Rushlight Energy Reduction Award - Airponix Ltd
Rushlight Energy Efficiency Award - LightFi Ltd
Rushlight Water Treatment Award - Solar Water Plc
Rushlight Water Management Award - Heriot-Watt University (SCORRES)
Rushlight Organic Resource Award - GENeco
Rushlight Resource Recycling Award - Reuseful UK
Rushlight Clean Environment Award - AmbiSense
Rushlight Responsible Product or Service Award - STORM
Rushlight Sust Manufacturing & Services Award - Green Lizard Technologies Ltd
Rushlight Sust Agric, Forestry & Biodiversity Award - Solar Polar Ltd
Rushlight Environmental Analysis & Metrology Award - Green Sea Guard Ltd
Rushlight Sustainability Initiative Award - SteamaCo
In addition to the Rushlight Awards judging, the 2017-18 awards also incorporated a number of other benefits and prizes for entrants and we are very grateful to these generous supporters.
Tmara made an award to the UK market entry they felt had the biggest chance of adoption and breakout potential, unique contribution to the management of the environment and multiple potential applications both commercial and retail of a Product-Market Fit Assessment, Minimum Viable Value Specification and Strategic Alignment Mentoring to NatureMetrics. NatureMetrics is pioneering the use of high throughput DNA sequencing to measure and monitor biodiversity.
These new sequencing techniques allow them to identify all the species present in complex biological samples, so they can monitor natural communities at unprecedented scales. They can even sequence water samples to find out what species of fish are nearby. This facilitates evidence-based decision-making in environmental management, routine surveillance for pest and problem species, and detection of ecological changes long before they can be noticed at a landscape level.
Leading Edge Only has offered all awards applicants free promotion on their Global Innovation Marketplace and all of the winners will be given free access to their Cleantech Network, to gain additional exposure to other relevant organisations.
Barking Dog Communications continues to offer all the group winners and the overall winner promotional support in respect of their success at the awards.
Stephens Scown offered to all applicants a 30 minutes telephone initial IP assessment, to include a mini IP MOT and assessment of eligibility for IP audit funding.
Granted Consultancy offered all entrants an assessment of their Executive Summary in relation to securing grant funding and a skype call to discuss relevant grant funding and general funding opportunities for their business, with summaries of grants provided on a following email.