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Wyre Forest Businesses Showcase Cleantech Innovations

Six businesses showcased Cleantech innovations developed in Wyre Forest at a showcase event on Thursday 23 June.

The companies have been supported by BetaDen North Cleantech Bootcamp – an eight-week programme bringing leading experts from the Cleantech world to north Worcestershire to help local entrepreneurs and established businesses develop technologies that will lead industry supply chains towards Net Zero.

Innovations on display included:

  • Aceleron – a Li-ion battery with improved maintenance, lifetime and material sustainability
  • Ecoforest UK – a combined hot water cylinder, thermal store and control system to integrate with heat pumps and simplify installation.
  • GroHanger – a clothes hanger that extends from baby to adult size, reducing waste
  • Hummingbird Design – an innovative road/floor surface that converts movement to electrical energy
  • R-Net – outdoor recycling bin with durable net instead of bin bags, angled to throw recyclable waste into it
  • Voidfill Packaging – On-site machine that manufactures EcoNutz, Voidfill’s innovative packaging “peanuts” made from paper, reducing transport emissions

Luke Willetts, Deputy CEO at Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The showcase was the culmination of a six-month programme designed to identify and develop Cleantech innovations here in Wyre Forest.

“Our six bootcamp participants have been supported by some of the country’s leading experts to develop their products, enhance their understanding of their markets and develop their commercial offer.

“The showcase provided a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the progress they have made, creating relationships with investors, partners and customers who can support them in their goal of driving real environmental change across their industries.

“Our vision for BetaDen North is to pave the way for a nationally-significant centre of excellence for carbon-reducing technologies in the area, working with cohort members to establish the region as a UK leader for developing the technologies society needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle the climate crisis.”

BetaDen North Cleantech Bootcamp offered cohort companies a programme of support worth £25,000 over eight weeks to develop and commercialise their Cleantech innovations. This included grant funding, tailored support and mentoring from industry leaders, skills-based masterclasses, guest speakers, networking and business introductions, and free office space at Wyre Forest House.

Nick Lewis of Grohanger, which took part in the bootcamp and showcase, said: “We applied to the Bootcamp to access the financial and mentoring assistance available at what was a critical time for our business as we looked to launch our newest, sustainable product.

“The programme delivered a great mix of education, mentoring support and discussions with other Cleantech entrepreneurs that have helped us define our market and commercial approach.

“Taking part in BetaDen North Cleantech Bootcamp really accelerated our progress bringing our new Grohanger to market and the showcase was a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate its potential to customers and partners.”

BetaDen North Cleantech Bootcamp was funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund and enabled by Wyre Forest District Council and Worcestershire County Council. The programme, delivered by Carbon Limiting Technologies (CLT), brought to life real issues and opportunities for businesses arising out of the push towards Net Zero, which will impact businesses and organisations of all sizes across all sectors.

Councillor Helen Dyke, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Planning and Localism, concluded: “Promoting low- and zero-carbon technologies is a key part of the county’s economic strategy and the innovations coming out of this inaugural bootcamp are evidence of the wealth of potential that exists in our region. The showcase not only demonstrated the progress made by individual companies but provided a platform from which to celebrate the work of the wider Cleantech community in the region, which is working hard to deliver a cleaner, greener future for us all.”

At the time of the launch, Councillor Marc Bayliss, cabinet member with responsibility for Economy and Skills at Worcestershire County Council also added: “The Community Renewal fund is a fantastic opportunity to make a real positive impact through funding imaginative new programmes that will boost productivity and grow local economies.”

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BetaDen North Showcase

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BetaDen BetaDen is Worcestershire’s first dedicated technology accelerator for entrepreneurs, scale-up businesses and technology SMEs working in emerging technology and is co-located iwht Worcestershire’s 5G testbed. It provides a nine-month programme of support worth £50,000 to up to eight technology-focussed businesses per cohort. Current and recent cohort members have developed and commercialised a range of tech-led products; ranging from construction safety devices to cyber security products, the world’s first 5G buoys for maritime connectivity to voice biometrics programmes, securing valuable contacts with the likes of HS2, Royal Mail, the NHS and National Rail. The UK Community Renewal Fund The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. BetaDen North Bootcamp companies Aceleron is an award-winning clean technology company responsible for designing and building the world’s most sustainable lithium-ion battery. Built with the circular economy in mind, every part of their batteries is serviceable, upgradable, and recyclable. Aceleron empowers the global community by increasing access to energy storage solutions for everyone Ecoforest UK Ltd is the manufacturer of UK specific products that complement the heat pumps produced by Ecoforest of Spain, we also provide the UK infrastructure for both pre-sale and after-sale support for installers and end users. The product that we are currently developing is an internal unit that consists of a domestic hot water cylinder, a heating buffer, and the complete bespoke control system for an average UK domestic property of less than 5 bedrooms. The aim of the product is to increase adoption of heat pumps by, removing potential problems with installation as well as reducing onsite installation time and costs. Grohanger is a baby hanger that extends into an adult hanger solving a number of pain points that parents experience with standard baby and kids hangers. Importantly, it prevents plastic waste created by standard hangers that are outgrown and mainly end up as landfill waste. It has been selling for over 15 yrs mainly through distributors and retailers. Over the last 5 years the retail environment has drastically changed into largely a D2C model. We have now managed to develop an outstanding new sustainable design that is highly applicable to the market and ready to attack this sector. Hummingbird Design investigates and develops new innovative renewable green energy solutions and systems to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing products. We are presently developing a Kinetic Road/surface system. A renewable energy system that transforms the potential energy in a moving object via a surface into electrical energy. This solution is not reliant on a natural energy source so produces an uninterrupted power supply R-Net has been set up in recognition of the global issue of disposal of plastics. The R-Net is an outdoor recycling bin that utilises a strong, durable net instead of single-use plastic bin bags. It makes recycling more accessible by being in outdoor spaces where recycling options aren’t usually offered and recycling is made more fun for the user by angling the net, so they can throw their rubbish in. This design is the foundation to many different applications from large commercial outdoor through to smaller domestic use. VoidFill Packaging Ltd provides a range of innovative and eco-friendly paper and air packaging products for in-box protection. We convert a unique and novel paper loosefill produced on our own converter machine designed and built by us. We supply plant-based bio plastic air pillow film (corn starch, sugarcane and 100% Recycled) to run on our own designed and built air pillow machine, Based in Rushock, Worcestershire we service the UK and work with overseas suppliers and customers.

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