New recruits sought for Scotland’s low carbon challenge

ECCI's Charlotte Waugh pictured (centre) with colleagues and Ideas Lab recruits .
Picture: Colin Hattersley/ ECCI

ECCI's Charlotte Waugh pictured (centre) with colleagues and Ideas Lab recruits . Picture: Colin Hattersley/ ECCI

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Scotland’s next generation of low-carbon entrepreneurs are being sought to aid the country’s rise to the climate change challenge.

Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) is building on Scotland’s growing influence in the field and searching for recruits for its fourth Ideas Lab.

People do look to Scotland for leadership in this area.

Charlotte Waugh, innovations manager at ECCI

Charlotte Waugh, innovations manager at ECCI, said the Ideas Lab had already delivered “some incredibly good results” so far.

Since 2014, 13 new low-carbon products have been created with seven new companies starting to trade.

Projects include Capture Mobility, a green energy technology which harvests solar and wind energy from roads to East Africa Sisal Company, which uses sustainably grown grassland from Tanzania to restore peatlands in Scotland - a key project to cut carbon emissions.

READ MORE: Scotland’s wind farms have no effect on tourism, study finds

Ms Waugh said Scotland had become “well placed” to deliver further, progressive solutions to tackle climate change with the ECCI offering business, legal and academic support to entrepreneurs as well as the peer-to-peer backing of other low-carbon innovators.

She added: “We have all been challenged to reduce carbon emissions and Scotland has been one of the most ambitious and active so far, aiming for a 42 per cent reduction by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050.

“Everyone has got to do something to contribute to this and we are going to need solutions. We need to these low carbon ideas, products and services to support that ambition.

“Scotland is viewed globally as an innovator and global leader regarding all things ‘green’ and so there is also a great opportunity to export these products, which is something we are starting to do.

“People do look to Scotland for leadership in this area.”

Applicants are open to all entrepreneurs, researchers and academics who have a low-emission project they want to develop.

Ms Waugh said project which focused on the rural economy or water would be particularly welcome this year given both areas tie in to public funding priorities.

Law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn has been named as ECCI’s first corporate sponsor with more companies being sought to support its work.

Ms Waugh said: “The Ideas Lab is not a one-stop shop for solving everything but it is an environment where people are supported and knowledge and experience in the low carbon development area will be shared.”

John Ferguson of the East Africa Sisal Company, a former recruit of the Ideas Lab, said: “In a standard business accelerator programme, some of the social entrepreneurs often find themselves in the minority and not very well understood.

“However in the ECCI Ideas Lab being with people of a similar mind-set is a huge benefit. The Ideas Lab really does live up to its name.”

Deadline for applications is September 12. FOr full information on how to apply , got to www.edinburghcentre.org/home.

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