ECCI launches Scotland’s first low-carbon ideas-lab and business incubator


Low Carbon Ideas Lab Winners (front) and Edinburgh Centre of Carbon Innovation judges (rear).
Low Carbon Ideas Lab Winners (front) and Edinburgh Centre of Carbon Innovation judges (rear).
Photograph Colin Hattersley

Following a rigorous ‘Dragon’s Den’-style initial-sifting process, the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation today launches 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 the ECCI’s low carbon innovation hub, with further 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.

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 – which is also based in the same building as the ECCI.  The four successful low carbon ideas are:

Water Engine: micro hydro renewable technology for river beds that produce electricity at high efficiency

Colour Elements: a mobile app that promotes an intelligent approach to buying clothes that keeps the fun in fashion without exhausting the earth’s energy and resources

MicroFarm: a closed-loop zero-carbon greenhouse with the capacity to support crop food production throughout the full year without the financial and environmental cost of fossil fuels, and:

Town Rock Energy:  Scotland’s first deep geothermal energy consultancy company.

The  Lo-Carb Ideas Lab provides dedicated office space in ECCI’s low carbon hub (based near the Scottish Parliament in the capital’s Old Town) mentorship from 2020 Group business leaders, practical services and access to ECCI’scommunity of low carbon practitioners and leaders.

Karen Finlayson, Colour Elements, commented:  “I’m delighted to be part of Scotland’s first low carbon business incubator.

“The ECCI is the hub for lo-carb 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, added:  “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: “The 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.”

 A second round of applications will open again in the new year and 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.

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed