The Environment Now announces £100,000 of green tech projects

6 Sep 2017

Ten new green tech projects funded by The Environment Now have been announced.

The grants programme, supported by O2’s Think Big in partnership with the National Youth Agency, offers funding, training, work experience and support to get young people’s green ideas off the ground. It is today (6 September 2017) announcing 10 projects worth £100,000.

The Environment Now programme is funded by O2 and the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and is part of the Our Bright Future programme. It is managed by the National Youth Agency.

The projects funded include a mobile app that helps users limit their food waste by providing recipe ideas, reminders of expiry dates and suggestions to save time and energy on cooking. Another project is developing low cost paper-based pollution sensors, which attach to a smartphone device and measure levels of nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere.

Bill Eyres, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at O2 said, “At O2 we are inspired every day by young people’s great ideas.  These projects show how their creativity and inspiration coupled with the power of tech, enables young people to tackle global challenges. We are proud to support them.”

Leigh Middleton, Managing Director of the National Youth Agency said, “The Environment Now projects are truly inspiring. These young people have taken the best of tech and applied it to the environment to create a project which answers a real need. We’re looking forward to supporting them on their journey.”

Cath Hare, Programme Manager for Our Bright Future said, “We were bowled over by the passion and creativity shown during the pitches. I’m so excited to watch the projects develop and see these young people reach their potential within the green technology sector.”

The ten projects are receiving £10,000 funding each plus a range of support over ten months, helping them develop their ideas, confidence and skills with the aim of empowering them to become sustainability leaders of the future. The projects comprise:

Frances James – Project Soteria

Project Soteria will run a series of workshops for young people aged 15-17 from disadvantaged backgrounds to support them in building a solar powered phone charging station from scratch whilst highlighting the role of STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) subjects.

Matthew Brown – PocketPals

PocketPals will be a mobile app designed to increase awareness and appreciation for British wildlife and their habitats. Through the app people will be able to find, explore and learn about real-world animals and environment around them.

Dalton Scott – Sensors4Bins

Sensors4Bins will use this funding to place sensors in to industrial waste containers. Sensors stream data to the cloud for analysis and review. Public and private sector customers can benefit from more efficient collections and cleaner waste streams; i.e., less commingling of organic and inorganic waste. Bin level reporting will allow for more targeted marketing campaigns in local communities on a street by street basis, in order to stimulate greater reuse and recycling. Consumers will find their bin through E-Advisor, a voice assistant on the Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.

David Porteous – Bi-Pod

Bi-Pod is aiming to create a prototype for its innovative bicycle storage solution which saves space, looks great and adds additional security to bicycle storage within cities. With a circular ‘pod-like’ design covering a footprint of under 5m/sq., the Bi-Pod hopes to store 6 bicycles in an upright position. An app will allow users to book segments within Bi-Pods, locate their nearest one and report any damage.

Michael Kasimatis – BlakBear

BlakBear is creating a prototype of low cost paper-based pollution sensors, which attach to a smartphone device and measure levels of nitrogen dioxide. Data is uploaded on to the cloud, allowing the user to gauge the pollution around them as well as give authorities more information to tackle air pollution.

Harrison Kees – AQUA

The Air Quality in Urban Acadamia (AQUA) project is a York-based proposal aiming to monitor the quality of air around York’s nine high schools. Raspberry Pi-based devices will be designed, resourced, and built to measure the levels of pollutants in the air.  These digital sensors will be connected via mobile data to a cloud-based storage, creating an Internet of Things network to collate information in online database. It is hoped that the resulting data will help to describe in real numbers the levels of pollution outside schools.

Daniel Lloyd – WAE

WAE aims to develop an intelligent food waste system for households. The project will create a waste bin with an infrared sensor which will act as a spectrometer to monitor such features as weight, CO2 and energy value which will be displayed in a user friendly app to inform and educate users on what they are throwing away. Food waste will be prepared for anaerobic digestion and transported to plants for processing.

Preslava Vassileva – The Eco Chef

The Eco Chef will be an app that supports users to make sustainable food choices. Users can select their dietary requirements, the preferred amount of time they spend cooking daily and the number of people they are cooking for. By scanning groceries and storing expiry dates on the app, users will receive tailored recipe suggestions and tips on how they can cook more efficiently whilst saving money, time and energy, decreasing the amount of food waste they generate.

Mohammed Alhadi – Auxin

Auxin will develop a phone case which uses renewable energy to power a mobile phone, whilst measuring the amount of energy the phone is using. Using small solar beads to power it, this project will track the phone’s energy use, raising awareness of energy consumption, renewable sources and encouraging a change of lifestyle and attitude to the environment.

Chidubem Nwabufo – Impact Fashion

Impact Fashion aims to develop an app to tackle fashion’s environmental impact. Embedded in the app will be a shop element, where users can resell or hire clothes whilst a map will highlight where textile recycle bins are and ethical stores in the area. Users will also be connected with tailors, toxic free dry cleaners and home recycling partners. Finally, information will be shared on a blog, including event announcements, user styling tips, feature stories and exclusive deals.


The next deadlines for project applications to The Environment Now is 14 November 2017.

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