First prize at UK Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community Launchpad

Congratulations to the team of research students from the Department of Engineering Science Energy and Power Group, which has won first prize at the UK Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) Launchpad finals. They won first prize for their clean tech business idea, which was judged to have the best climate and social impact.

ionQube team
Left to right: Damien Frost, Adrien Bizeray and Christoph Birkl
Called ionQube (@ionQube), the team’s idea involves the up-cycling of lithium ion waste batteries to create low-cost energy storage systems for people in developing countries without access to electricity. The product can be used to charge ‘phones and power lights, fans, radios etc. They currently have a prototype (featured in the photograph) and an order for 140 units to be supplied to two villages in Kenya by September 2015.

ionQube team members are: Carolyn Hicks; Damien Frost; Adrien Bizeray; Robert Richardson and Christoph Birkl. Carolyn is an MBA student at Oxford University’s Said Business School and all other team members are DPhil students in the Department’s Energy and Power Group.

Christoph Birkl said: “In the pitch we had just five minutes to introduce our business idea and convince the judges that it has great potential for commercialisation as well as a large climate and social impact. We are very excited to have the opportunity and funds to pitch at the European Climate KIC Launchpad finals, which will take place in Amsterdam in September”.

About 28 EU countries will compete at the European finals and the winners will be awarded cash prizes of up to €10,000 and admittance to the Climate KIC accelerator programme, which involves another €90,000 of start-up capital and access to coaching and courses. Climate KIC is promoting the best clean tech business ideas with great climate and social impact. Watch this space!

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