Alongside the funding, the programme also helps wining SMEs open doors and attract investor interest by generating positive publicity and providing a respected 'quality assurance' stamp. The latest winner Seawater Greenhouse, whose cool house technology allows crops to grow in arid regions, has further expanded its work in Somaliland, while 2017 winner, Upside Energy, has recently secured an Innovate UK grant worth £470,000.
Sinead Lynch, Shell UK Country Chair said: "If you've got a brilliant low-carbon innovation, we really want to hear from you. While we don't have any equity in the businesses we support through Shell Springboard, we want to see them scale-up, attract private investors and play a part in shifting the UK to a low-carbon economy."
Shell Springboard seeks out and supports UK-based SMEs that reduce carbon emissions, are innovative and economically viable. For example, previous Shell Springboard winner bio-bean, a company creating sustainable biofuels and biochemicals from coffee waste, is now selling in major retailer outlets across the country and have collaborated with TFL to power public buses.
Charlie Paton, Director of Seawater Greenhouse, the 2018 Shell Springboard National Winner, said: "Shell Springboard is an amazing programme that has built investor confidence in our business. Through the programme we met other high performing low-carbon SMEs, honed our pitching skills and received constructive feedback from the judges."
By helping businesses in the low-carbon sector, both the UK and Shell stand to benefit from stronger economic growth and a deeper pool of innovators able to develop solutions for a lower-carbon world. Since 2005, Shell Springboard has provided over £4 million to more than 100 innovative low-carbon enterprises. More than eight in every ten (84%) Shell-supported companies are still in operation within five years, compared to the national average of approximately 45%.
Shell will be accepting applications to the Shell Springboard programme until 10am on October 29. Interested low carbon SMEs are invited to apply online at www.shellspringboard.org.