Belfast Telegraph

Green awards to provide springboard for innovative firms

By Lindsay Fergus

Awards with a £320,000 total prize fund are up for grabs for Northern Ireland small businesses, as companies with innovative ideas for tackling climate change are being urged to compete in the Shell Springboard programme.

Since its launch in 2005, Shell Springboard has awarded £1.6m to 43 forward-thinking low-carbon businesses. The awards provide a springboard for many businesses, helping them to raise their profile in order to secure investment. Previous Northern Ireland winners and finalists include Turbine Developments, who secured £40,000 in prize money and Bio Spray Insulation.

One of last year’s winners was Aeristech, a GB firm which developed a system that enables car manufacturers to downsize engines, cutting emissions and cost without reducing performance.

James Smith, chairman of Shell UK, said: “Small businesses are a prolific reservoir of creative thinking on low-carbon technologies. Shell Springboard offers no-strings financial awards to help these businesses get their ideas off the ground.” Ideas must lead to greenhouse gas reductions, be commercially viable and innovative. Last year awards were made to nine businesses from across the UK.

The deadline for 2010 entries is 5pm on November 5. Full details and an online application form can be found at www.shellspringboard.org.

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