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Meet the finalists for the 2018 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Tue, 21 May 2019

Meet the six finalists for the 2018 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Meet the six innovative entrepreneurs who are competing for the title of Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year and £25,000 no-strings attached funding for their low-carbon business.  
The six finalists haven’t had an easy ride to get to this stage. First, competing for a monthly £5,000 Smarter Future Award, and then making it through a tough semi-final, the Final 6 have faced stiff opposition at every stage so far.  
These young innovators are shaping a smarter, more sustainable future for the UK, and we wish them all the best of luck at the final in July! 

Nathan Edwards (CDB) 
Container Design & Build (CDB) converts shipping containers into quality office space, retail units and homes. The use of novel building methods, such as shipping containers, has three significant sustainability and low-carbon benefits. Firstly, traditional brick and mortar buildings are all conducted on-site, requiring huge amounts of materials to be transported to and from the site, which causes significant carbon emissions over time. Secondly, because the units are portable, they can be transported to small pockets of land in city centres, rather than spreading out and building on green field sites. CDB contributes to a much more efficient use of land. And lastly, their business upcycles shipping containers, stopping steel containers going to waste around the world. 

Thomas Farrugia (Beta Bugs) 
Beta Bugs is an insect breeding company that creates high performance breeds for the rapidly-growing ‘insects-as-protein’ sector. The protein-dense insects are used in livestock and aquaculture feed, reducing the need for environmentally damaging soymeal and fishmeal. Compared to these traditional protein resources, insects grow quickly and require minimal land and water. Beta Bugs is utilising the short lifespan and increased generational turnover of insects to test new breeding biotechniques to accelerate desired characteristics. Beta Bugs’ first product is a faster growing strain of insect which they can sell on to commercial insect farms. 

Thomas Fudge (WASE) 
WASE has developed a wastewater treatment system that can be installed on their customers’ sites to turn wastewater into renewable energy. Wastewater contains an abundance of energy, but typical wastewater treatment systems require a lot of energy to remove the organic waste before it can be discharged, as well as producing significant carbon emissions. WASE’s system is the embodiment of the circular economy: it treats customers’ wastewater, before producing a biogas that can be used to generate electricity and heat. Customers are then able to reuse the treated water and energy on-site, lowering the carbon impact of their processes. The leftover nutrients from the wastewater are also turned into fertiliser.  

Charlie Guy (LettUs Grow) 
LettUs Grow has developed a system to grow vegetables using 95% less water than traditional agriculture methods. They do this through an aeroponic grow bed that can be installed in vertical farms. Aeroponics is a methodology of growing plants without soil, where the roots are watered using a fine mist. Not only does this allow greater oxygenation of the roots, delivering better flavour and faster growth, but it also uses much less water than traditional agriculture as the water used for the mist is recirculated in a closed loop system. As well as using less water, aeroponics is also much less carbon intensive than other growing forms as it uses significantly less land than soil growing. LettUs Grow is also developing software and data services that are integrated into hardware and provide information to optimise growing conditions. 
Biohm has come up with an offering to solve enduring issues in the construction industry: novel construction systems, bio-based materials and a research department. Biohm is developing a new form of construction (Triagomy) that uses biomimicry – the production of structures that are modelled on biological entities and processes. It does not require permanent binders or fasteners, allowing buildings to be deconstructed at any stage of their life. This eliminates the need for demolition and makes extensions, downsizing, relocation, recycling and re-use much easier processes. It only uses natural, bio-based and breathable materials and assessments. Comparing Triagomy with traditional construction methods shows reductions of up to 120% in a building’s environmental impact, up to 70% in costs and around 95% in build times. 
Alterwaste’s mission is to make the planet greener by reducing industrial waste and turning it into something with a positive impact, starting with eggshells. Alterwaste has developed a brand-new patented and fully compostable material from eggshells that can replace plastic and other non-sustainable materials, such as polystyrene, in the following sectors: packaging, food service disposables, cosmetics, gardening and construction. Rather than manufacturing the products themselves, Alterwaste plans to license their model to other manufacturers around the globe, who will be able to mass produce the compostable material. They plan to work hand-in-hand with waste management companies, and they have a strategic partnership with a global manufacturing company pending. 

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