ECCI launches Scotland's first Low Carbon Ideas Lab

Published: 17 November 2014

Four companies make the final cut including an urban micro-farm, a mobile app that promotes an intelligent approach to buying clothes and a riverbed micro-hydro electricity device called the ‘Water Engine’.

After a rigorous dragon’s-den-style recruitment process the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation today launched Scotland’s first low carbon business incubator.

The founding entrepreneurs of the brand new Low Carbon Ideas Lab beat off tough competition to win one of nine desks in ECCI’s low carbon innovation hub and support to turn their good ideas into successful businesses.

The winners had to present a business plan and pitch their idea to a panel of financial, business and technology experts.

Congratulations to the four winners:

• Water Engine - Micro hydro renewable technology for river beds
• Colour Elements – Mobile app that promotes an intelligent approach to buying clothe
• MicroFarm - Closed-loop zero-carbon greenhouse
• Town Rock Energy Limited - Scotland's first deep geothermal energy consultancy company

Winners will also receive mentorship from a business leader from the 2020 Climate Group, the expert body set up to help Scotland’s business sector meet Scottish Government carbon targets.

The Ideas Lab provides dedicated office space in ECCI’s low carbon hub, mentorship from a 2020 Group business leader, practical services and access to ECCI's unique community of low carbon practitioners and leaders.

ECCI is Scotland’s low carbon innovation hub, based in the UK’s most sustainably designed historic building. Boasting around 15,000 visitors since opening its doors a year ago, the hub is such a popular place to work and meet that one winner, Karen Finlayson, has been camping out in the Café for the last few months.

Karen Finlayson, Colour Elements, said:

“I’m delighted to be part of Scotland’s first low carbon business incubator. ECCI is the hub for low carbon innovation in Scotland so there’s no better place for me to be to develop my idea into a revenue generating low carbon business.”

Ed Craig, ECCI Head of Innovation said:

“A business incubator like the Low Carbon Ideas Lab has always been a core objective for ECCI so it’s great to see this coming to fruition. We are passionate about finding great ideas and the great people to drive them forward. We’re happy to say that this building is crammed full of them. There’s an ever-increasing buzz about ECCI and it’s just been ramped up a gear with these exciting new residents.”

Victoria Barby, Programme Manager 2020 Climate Group, said:

“2020 Climate Group and ECCI share a commitment to helping Scotland transform its current economy to a low carbon one. Scotland has always been at the cutting edge of economic transformation – innovation is nothing new here. We just want to ensure that low carbon is part of it.”

How to apply?

A second round of applications will open again in the new year - stay in touch and look out for news on LinkedIn and Twitter.

All graduates of the Low Carbon Ideas Lab will be encouraged to move up (and downstairs) to ECCI’s Innovation Suite, a shared working space for start-ups, businesses, NGOs and public sector organisations all working towards creating a low carbon future, also based in ECCI’s low carbon hub. 


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