Countdown to 2020

December 8, 2016

FREE PICTURE: Low Carbon Ideas Lab Winners, ECCI (Edinburgh Centre of Carbon Innovation), 14/11/2014: Low Carbon Lab winner Low Carbon Ideas Lab Winner Low Carbon Lab winners and judges: Pictured at the Edinburgh Carbon Innovations Centre (ECCI) headquarters are winners and judges (clockwise from left): Victoria Barby (correct, judge) from 2020 Climate Group, David Townsend of Town Rock Energy Limited, Jason Marenikeji (correct) of Urban Farming, Stan Johnston and Euan Hogg of Silver Hydro and Karen Finlayson of Colour Elements. More info from: Annabel Cooper, communications and events officer, ECCI (Edinburgh Centre of Carbon Innovation) - - 0131 650 9811 - 07713 392 007 Photography from: Colin Hattersley Photography - - - 07974 957 388

ECCI’s Low Carbon Ideas Lab

Supporting Scotland’s low carbon entrepreneurs

The concept for a Low Carbon Ideas Lab was developed from a project idea of the 2020 Group’s Innovation sub-group and has developed into a successful incubator within Scotland for low carbon businesses. The Lab has the capacity to support up to 15 businesses at a given time. The Lab is a based in, and managed by, the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation. The 2020 Climate Group offered high-level mentorship to the first two intakes of the Ideas Lab, providing invaluable industry knowledge and insight.

The Ideas Lab provides support, mentoring and high-quality accommodation for those with inspirational ideas that can accelerate Scotland’s progress towards a low carbon economy. ECCI’s Innovation Team offers tailored advice, mentoring (through the 2020 Climate Group), bursaries and free access to ECCI membership and their extended partner community.

International ambition

Through ECCI’s growing international community, the Ideas Lab residents are introduced to new low carbon networks both in the UK and abroad to encourage exporting their innovative products and services. Ideas Lab residents have access to ECCI’s ambitious Carbon Centre in Hong Kong – providing a soft landing for exporting Scotland’s low carbon products and services to Asian markets. In November 2016 the Ideas Labs took on its fourth intake of entrepreneurs, a total of 20 entrepreneurs have been supported over the past two years since inception.

Award winners

With 13 current residents, the intake has varied from new renewable energy technologies, to urban farming, and from sustainable fashion to financing low carbon infrastructure via impact bonds. The focus is to support ideas from young people, women, international entrepreneurs and innovators seeking to create change in their organisations (intrapreneurs). The Lab’s entrepreneurs have competed in various competitions and several have won prestigious awards, for example, the Green Energy Awards, Shell Springboard Awards (Finalist), Engage Invest Exploit, Shell Young Entrepreneur Award, Clean Tech Innovation Award and Young Edge Award.

ECCI has provided a list of key milestones achieved by the entrepreneurs during their time based at the Lab:

  • Thirteen entrepreneurs in the Lab, nine of which are fully funded
  • Fourth intake of entrepreneurs January 2016 with total of 20 supported
  • 13 new products and services created
  • Seven new jobs created
  • Five award winning businesses
  • Four international collaborations
  • 60% have secured investment

Benefits of the Lab

“I unreservedly recommend the ECCI Ideas Lab to low carbon start-ups who recognise the value of high worth connections and excellent business support. To be part of ECCI gave the company credibility and access to other forms of help that are difficult to gain.”

“The list of new opportunities that have come about because of our involvement with ECCI’s Low Carbon Ideas Lab have be crucial to our business’s growth. We have been introduced to key personnel in Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise, SEPA and Scottish Development International. We can’t recommend enough the team in ECCI and the work they do!”

ECCI continues to grow and develop the Ideas Lab and is now on the third intake of low carbon start-ups who receive sector specific support and advice as well as financial support and access to the hub and community. Mentoring continues to play a strong role in the Lab and ECCI hopes to continue the valuable mentoring relationship with the Group in some form.