Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Day 1 at EnvironmentYES!

Blogging from the EnvironmentYES competition in Edinburgh, a young entrepreneurs scheme aiming to increase the level of entrepreneurial awareness in the environmental science community.

Hi all,

So we have finally all made it to Edinburgh (Anna Evely and Emily Lambert all the way from London! Gina Maffey and Laura Lehtovirta from Aberdeen), and managed to find our apartment in preparation for tomorrow. We are currently camped out in true brain storming style... papers all over the floor, pizza delivery on call and wine chilling in the fridge!

Tomorrow on the agenda we have a morning of talks on various aspects of business and marketing, this is followed by an afternoon of exploring our current ideas with experts on tap. To give a brief outline of the competition, we are asked to market a real or hypothetical solution to an existing environmental problem. We are judged on our ability to market the product, not the product itself, although of course our knowledge of the problem has to stand up to some questioning! We have been asked to come with some ideas but nothing set in stone, so we would love to hear your thoughts on the following...

  • Vertical gardening - Similar to green roofs, utilising this commercial technology http://www.verticalfarm.com/ but marketing it on a domestic scale, and in a way that can be installed in existing buildings. This holds potential for small scale food production as well as bringing nature to communities and children that currently do not have access to outdoor spaces.
  • People powered energy plant - Harnessing the kinetic energy stored in each of us to effectively produce electricity. Applications include looking at games consoles, like the WII, to power the TV while it's in use, gym classes in schools to supply lighting in other classes and using the footfall of commuter traffic to light the underground (This last example has been piloted successfully in Tokyo station). This holds both small scale and industrial possibilities, along with running alongside health campaigns and energy bill reductions.
  • Flood warning technology - Using sensor systems that work on three levels. The first level sensor would be activated when water levels are moderately high and would alert the local meteorological station, the second level sensor would be activated if water levels continue to rise alerting local governments and councils that evacuation could be possible. Finally, the third level sensor would be activated when water levels are dangerously high to alert local communities that evacuation is imminent.

Right, we are off to watch another episode of Dragons Den, all in the name of team bonding and research!!

We will also be tweeting on @AberdeenCES this week and would love to hear from you!

Gina, Anna, Emily and Laura

1 comment:

  1. Exiting stuff! Interesting to hear your Belbin scores via twitter too - sound about right to me - I certainly always love hearing your ideas, Anna and Gina!

    I quite like the vertical gardenning idea - lots of ways you can market it to people, including ways that will appeal by people not motivated by environmental concerns: healthy (both in terms of nutrition and psychology - the effect of urban greenspace), helps people save cash (especially in a world where food prices are increasing) and depending on the way you do it, it can be all about big society and communities. And of course there are the environmental benefits e.g. urban biodiversity which is often overlooked.

    Would be worth looking at the Permaculture Association's website for marketting ideas - they've been trying to market this sort of thing for years and have lots of good videos etc on You Tube. I wonder if they might even help you out if they thought that it would help you win, and by winning raise their profile and cause? Or is that against the rules?

    Best of luck!!

    Mark Reed