News | Meet the finalists for the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
20 March 2017
Meet the six innovative, sustainable start-ups who will vie for the title of Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year and £25,000.
These six finalists have fought off stiff competition to win a £5,000 Smarter Future Award, and have now come through a semi-final judging stage to reach the Final 6 of our Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award competition.
These young entrepreneurs are engineering a smarter future for the UK, and we wish them all the best of luck at the Final on 6 April!
UK households dispose of up to seven million tonnes of food and drink each year, the majority of which could have been consumed. By simply throwing away less food, families in the UK could save £700 a year. Fresh Check has created a way to detect bacterial contamination in food using a bio-reactive sticker which turns from blue to orange when dangerous levels of bacteria in foods are detected. Fresh Check’s technology is able to make bacterial contamination visible with a simple change in colour.
Fresh Check directly monitors the level of food spoilage. For example, standard use-by-dates listed on all food packaging is up to 60% less accurate than Fresh Check. Fresh Check can also be used to detect bacteria levels in food as well as in medical facilities and living areas.
FRUU is a natural cosmetics business that is also tackling food waste. The business’s range of skincare products is derived from fruit by-products – a big contributor to landfills worldwide. According to WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), the UK wastes the equivalent of £150 million worth of fruit juice and smoothies each year.
While the introduction of fruit ingredients into skincare products isn’t new, the use of fruit by-products is novel for the cosmetics industry. Combined with novel branding strategies, FRUU is aiming to bring sustainability to the masses. The business is currently selling a range of fruit-derived lip balms through its website and at selected ethical markets and health foods outlets throughout the UK, with the aim of developing and releasing additional product ranges in the summer of 2017.
With massive consumption of devices like laptops and the growing popularity of vehicles like electric cars, the UK faces significant challenges with the waste management of their lithium ion batteries, due to limited recycling capacity. Additionally, many of these batteries still retain a lot of value as energy storage devices, making them ideal for reuse instead of recycling. Meanwhile rapid deployment of renewable energy worldwide has created a demand for low-cost energy storage.
Aceleron seeks to address both challenges by developing low-cost energy storage from used lithium ion batteries. They’ve developed the process to quickly identify used batteries suitable for reuse and hardware to repackage them into battery packs for renewable energy storage. The unique design of these battery packs allows them to be easily maintained as they ‘age’, removing the need to order entire battery packs.
AEROPOWDER is rethinking waste feathers. Around the world, millions of chickens are processed each day, but not much thought is given to what happens to the thousands of tonnes of waste feathers that are produced.
Feathers are generally converted into a low value animal feed, but as a material they are strong, lightweight and thermally insulating. By harnessing the natural properties of feathers, AEROPOWDER aims to create sustainable products to promote the intelligent reuse of waste materials in society.
AEROPOWDER is developing a feather-based insulation product that can be used in homes. Currently, the majority of insulation products are derived from non-renewable resources and have poor end-of-life options. Feather-based insulation will allow homes to become more energy efficient in a more environmentally friendly manner.
Revive is a waste rejuvenation business, specialising in the collection and recycling of used coffee grounds to create a range of environmentally beneficial products. They work with waste management partners to collects used coffee grounds from coffee shops across Scotland, which are then taken to their bio-refinery. Here, natural bio oils are extracted, leaving a carbon rich by-product. This can be pelletised to create a fertiliser or a highly calorific biomass pellet product.
Revive is currently raising capital to open a pilot bio-refinery in Glasgow with the help of Zero Waste Scotland. This will enable them to recycle large amounts of waste from across central Scotland using a new innovative process that can extract and
purify oils far more efficiently and cost effectively than was previously possible. These oils can be sold into a range of industries such as cosmetics and food and drink.
The challenge of generating large scale wind energy in a small-scale way to suit the needs of an urban population, was one that Moya Power set out to solve. The business created a new type of a flexible sheet that harvests light winds to generate energy. This low-carbon solution harnesses wind energy while conserving space at the same time. The sheets can be fitted onto many different surfaces, similar to the way in which solar panels can be applied to buildings, and hidden from public view, making use of otherwise redundant surfaces by turning them into ‘energy scavenging’ areas.
Unlike current wind turbines, Moya sheets take advantage of low-grade, unobstructed winds and do not require strong wind currents in order to generate energy. Once installed, the material can operate consistently throughout the day, harvesting renewable energy 24/7.
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