Cleantech finalists in our Entrepreneurial Science and Technology Awards
Seven brilliant businesses have been shortlisted in this category.
The future’s clean - cleantech, that is. These exciting companies are the finalists in the cleantech category of the Cambridge Independent’s inaugural Entrepreneurial Science and Technology Awards. The winners of our awards will be announced on September 21 at the Venturefest East businesss showcase event at Newmarket Racecourse.
Active Food Systems Ltd
Innovator Justin Cadbury developed the concept of creating a perfect fuel-efficient burner to be used for gas grills. Synergy Grill was born and it is now in use by chefs around the globe. By incorporating gas and air in addition to heat-capturing ceramic technology, Synergy Grills use 59 per cent less gas than standard grills. A patented system prevents cross-flavouring of meats or fish through smoke contamination. The ‘no fat tray’ design and self-cleaning features reduce the need for harsh cleaning chemicals that can contaminate our rivers and there is no grease to dispose of. Instead, a fat vaporisation process produces small particles that reduce the impact on ventilation systems.
Aponic, based at the NIAB Innovation Hub in Soham, has developed a vertical, soil-less growing system that uses 90 per cent less water yet grows fruit, vegetables, herbs, salad crops and even cut flowers 30 per cent faster and with 30 per cent larger yields. Being vertical turns acreage into volume so less space is required and, being a recycling system, it uses nutrients sparingly and there is no run-off into the environment. The system has been trialled with commercial food growers over the last two years and a system is now being developed that grows 5,000 lettuces every 38 days in freight containers.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 600 million people have no access to mains electricity.
Azuri’s mission is to bring reliable solar power to these off-grid communities, not only to provide lighting but to go beyond and provide connectivity to the outside world.
An affordable pay-as-you-go model works out cheaper for customers than what they previously spent on kerosene, candles, batteries and phone-charging – and is much healthier.
The coughing, burns, sore eyes and asthma caused by the constant use of kerosene have disappeared. Small businesses can stay open later. Children can study for longer at home.
Azuri’s latest product is a pay-as-you-go satellite TV system, which includes a 24-inch thin-screen LED TV with access to 54 TV channels as well as four powerful LED lights, the means to recharge a mobile phone and a rechargeable radio and torch.
Azuri has instealled more than 100,000 systems across 12 African countries, with the potential to impact over half a million lives.
CAMETICS Cambridge Advanced Metals
A spin-out from the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge, CAMETICS was formed in 2014 to commercialise a new set of patented soldering alloys known as ‘C-Solder’ for joining carbon-based materials and other materials generally considered difficult to solder. The method provides good electrical conductivity from copper to carbon and a physically strong connection. The team is also focused on R&D to exploit the unique properties of nanostructured graphitic materials and metals and is working on new electric motor designs to reduce energy loss and cut down on weight.
Using innovative communication technology, Milton-based CyanConnode enables governments, authorities and businesses efficiently to monitor and manage services, such as utilities and street lighting, saving money and energy.
Its narrowband mesh technology is supporting the roll-out of smart meters in the UK and around the world – the company is working from India to the remotest regions of the Amazon rainforest.
The technology enables machine-to-machine applications such as electricity, gas and water meters, traffic lights, street lights, in fact any smart city or Internet of Things device. It helps to reduce losses in the power sector, enables grid optimisation and demand response and aids consumers by allowing them to measure and control their energy consumption.
Cambridge-based SensorHut has developed new chemical sensor technology for the detection and monitoring of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These gas molecules are present in air, chemical processes, food and waste. Most are toxic and harmful to humans and environment.
The £20billion market for such sensors includes oil and gas industries, air quality monitoring, chemical process monitoring, healthcare and defence.
SensorHut’s patent-pending technology combines nano-materials, chemistry and nano-photonics and was developed by Dr Tanya Hutter, a University of Cambridge researcher with more than 10 years’ research experience in sensor technologies.
Cambridge Science Park-based Origami Energy has the vision to build a real-time marketplace for the distributed energy world. Established in 2013 by CEO Peter Bance, Origami Energy’s scalable cloud-based software platform analyses data from energy assets to determine the available flexibility locally, regionally and nationally. The platform automatically optimises this flexibility to match against market requirements and communicates the level of flexibility required to the asset through an intelligent hardware by turning power up and down or on and off. Customers can view real-time asset performance online via a dynamic user interface.
Our judges, sponsors and supporters
The judging panel consisted of Charles Cotton, of Cambridge Phenomenon, Hermann Hauser, of Amadeus Capital Partners, Julia Gwilt, of Appleyard Lees, Nick Sayer, of Woodfines Solicitors, Caroline Austin, of AstraZeneca, Lindsey Copland, of Grant Thornton, and Cambridge Independent editor Paul Brackley, who chaired the panel.
The sponsors for our awards are: Appleyard Lees, Woodfines Solicitors, Grant Thornton and Regus.
Supporters of the awards are: the World Nano Foundation, World Science Aid and Enabling Tech Capital.
More by this authorPaul Brackley