A Borders-based hydro power company has won its share of a £120,000 prize pot at the Shell Springboard awards in Edinburgh.
Water Engine Technologies of Galashiels, which develops run-of-river systems for generating electricity, secured £40,000 from the energy giant’s fund, aimed at finding and supporting “breakthrough” low-carbon enterprises, after seeing off competition from 140 other businesses.
The company will now go forward to the UK final of Shell’s competition, to be held in London next month, alongside fellow regional winners C-Capture – a University of Leeds spin-out that seeks to cut carbon dioxide emissions – and Northumberland wind turbine engineer Innova. The overall national winner stands to win a further £110,000.
Water Engine Technologies director Euan Hogg said: “The achievement is made even more special due to the high calibre of the other finalists involved. To gain the recognition from such a prestigious programme is a massive boost to the team and a great start to 2016.”
The Shell Springboard programme offers up to £150,000 to SMEs with innovative, commercially viable business ideas that help reduce carbon emissions. Since 2005, the scheme has awarded £3.2 million to almost 100 entrepreneurs, who have gone on to create more than 250 jobs and have an annual combined turnover of £60m.
Shell UK chairman Erik Bonino said: “The big ideas coming out of these small companies are not only helping to create a lower carbon, higher energy future – they are creating a new wave of jobs and economic growth in the UK.
“These companies embody the purpose of Shell Springboard with its exciting technology, and I wish them the very best of luck in the national final.”