Minister makes 2 announcements and Airponix wins Rushlight Awards

With the Republic of Korea Ambassador to London, Joonkook Hwang, in attendance, Claire Perry, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, announced a matched funding arrangement with the Republic of Korea which will see £6m available for the further development of energy storage innovations and technology. This came at the Rushlight Show after announcing the launch of an online database of some 4,300 low carbon organisations and projects which have received some form of public sector funding over the past five years, in order to champion both the UK's clean technology development to investors and highlight government support for the sector.

The Rushlight Show took place at the Royal Geographical Society yesterday and, as well as the Minister, included major contributions from John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Adviser at BEIS; Rob Saunders, Head of Energy at Innovate UK; Julie Hill, Chair at WRAP and senior representatives from the Committee on Climate Change, Energy Systems Catapult, CBI, National Grid, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the NHS. Now in its 9th year, the Show was kindly sponsored by Innovate UK, BEIS, Flanders Investment & Trade, Carbon Limiting Technologies, Sage, Granted Consultancy, Venner Shipley and Smith & Williamson and it attracted over 600 cleantech CEOs and entrepreneurs, investors and financiers, advisers, corporate customers and others involved in the sector.

Claire Perry, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth said: 

“Since the Rushlight Showcase last June, we have launched our modern Industrial Strategy which placed decarbonisation as one of our defining Grand Challenges, and our Clean Growth Strategy in which we committed to invest over £2.5 billion in low carbon technologies.

“As Rushlight has shown, clean tech businesses are flourishing in the UK and around the world. Today we have published our online Energy Innovation Portfolio which for the first time pulls together all the companies and projects with original ideas that have received government funding.”

The Rushlight Show hosted the Innovate UK Energy Catalyst Round 4 Showcase of over 60 projects and incorporated the Resourceful Conference focused on the circular economy, the Cleantech Innovation Showcase, the Sustainable Solutions Market Panel, an Exhibition and a number of other activities throughout the day.

Immediately after the Rushlight Show, Eventure Media then presented the Rushlight Awards at a lively Awards Party. This was attended by organizations that are leading the way in clean technology innovation and sustainable solution deployment, investors, advisers, specialist and general media, trade associations and government departments.

Mark Taylor, Deputy Director at BEIS and Head of Programme Delivery, Science and Innovation for Climate and Energy, and the guest of honour at the Awards Party, set out his past and the current activities of the department in the cleantech arena.

Clive Hall, Founder of the Rushlight Awards, commented: “Clean innovation is a key driver for growth across our whole economy, helping us find new ways to manage our environmental footprint, reduce costs and help put our businesses on a more sustainable and competitive footing. The progress that has been made over the last 11 years has been achieved in no small part through the successes of organisations such as those we are celebrating and promoting through the Awards.”

The overall winner was Airponix for their innovative technology that can help to mitigate world hunger by allowing staple food crops to be grown with no soil or agricultural land, less than 15% of the normal water input, no chemicals (organic quality produce), no fossil fuels or heavy plant and yields more than 10 times the output from conventional farming. The breakthrough innovation is its ability to create engineered fogs to feed the roots and foliage, as opposed to mists or sprays which conventional aeroponic systems use, and this is achieved by using the well-proven piezoelectric technology of inkjet printer heads resulting in a greater than 90% saving in energy requirements. Through the use of low-cost growth chambers, the system is resilient to weather extremes and climate change effects.

The group category winners were:

1. Fraunhofer UK Research working with Wind Farm Analytics Ltd and Thales UK (Optronics) Ltd for their Project AMFIBIAL which seeks to commercialise a floating triple beam LIDAR (laser wind measurement) for the offshore wind industry.

2. Reactive Technologies Ltd for GridMetrix, an advanced, cloud-based grid measurement and analytics platform that delivers unique system data and deep insights to help manage electric systems in real-time. It enables grid operators to integrate safely increased amounts of renewable generation and make more efficient and cost-effective grid investment and procurement decisions.

3. Greater Than have developed a technology, based on deep machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), that can analyse driving and assess risk in real-time. The technology (Enerfy) is a platform, which includes a hardware plug-in, the consumer's smartphone, and their cloud-based service with algorithms and AI. With their technology analysing in real-time, the driver gets feedback and information in their smartphone immediately.

4. Heriot-Watt University for the SCORRES Project with 5 other partners – Auraventi Ltd, Scene Connect, Findhorn Foundation College, Auroville Consulting and Auroville Centre for Scientific Research . The project is developing a robust, efficient, affordable and smart irrigation system to help tackle the food, water, energy trilemma. The system combines a highly localised weather forecast with local know-how on irrigation needs and soil conditions, to produce a ‘right time, right volume’ approach to micro-irrigation. The test system has increased crop yields, reduced labour and composting requirements and reduced water and energy consumption, leading to improved utilisation of power, increased grid stability and potential higher farmer revenues.

5. SteamaCo for their Internet of Things technology which enables companies to sell clean energy in frontier markets. Their Energy Autopilot enables its customers to sell energy anywhere on the planet and is simple, robust and four times cheaper than comparable smart meter platforms.

The complete list of Rushlight Direct entry categories winners is set out below:

Direct entry categories Winner:
Rushlight Solar Award: Solapak Systems Ltd
Rushlight Ground & Air Source Power Award: D'Ascanio Research Ltd
Rushlight Wind Power Award: Fraunhofer UK Research (AMFIBIAL)
Rushlight Marine & Hydro Energy Award:Tidal Harness Ltd
Rushlight Bioenergy Award: Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Energy Agency
Rushlight Powered Transport Award: Greater Than
Rushlight Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Award: ITM Power
Rushlight Power Gen and Transmission Award: Reactive Technologies Ltd
Rushlight Fossil Fuels Award: Immaterial Labs Ltd
Rushlight Nuclear Energy Award: DavyMarkham Ltd
Rushlight Energy Reduction Award: Airponix Ltd
Rushlight Energy Efficiency Award: LightFi Ltd
Rushlight Water Treatment Award: Solar Water Plc
Rushlight Water Management Award: Heriot-Watt University (SCORRES)
Rushlight Organic Resource Award: GENeco
Rushlight Resource Recycling Award: Reuseful UK
Rushlight Clean Environment Award: AmbiSense
Rushlight Responsible Product or Service Award: STORM
Rushlight Sust Manufacturing & Services Award: Green Lizard Technologies Ltd
Rushlight Sust Agric, Forestry & Biodiversity Award: Solar Polar Ltd
Rushlight Environmental Analysis & Metrology Award: Green Sea Guard Ltd
Rushlight Sustainability Initiative Award: SteamaCo