The Tech Resort CIC finally is launched – 10th July

Kestrel House, EastbourneMark Hadley, Managing Director of Isis Environmental has been involved from the start with the great team of Eastbourne-based expertise that underpins this innovative Community Interest Company. It has been a long time in the making, but after the best part of 6 months since Tech Resort CIC and its directors were successful in winning a major grant in excess of £150,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund, it finally launched the Tech Resort at it’s new premises, Kestrel House on the 10th July 2015.  A full photo archive can be accessed via Avant Photographic ( a really great commercial photographer based here in our Town).

A group of entrepreneurs and digital activists wanted to make a difference to Eastbourne by creating a new space which could be used to teach children and teenagers how to ‘Code’ as well as developing their other skills,  in a fresh new Creative and Digital environment.  Our MD has been involved since 2013 with the ideas that underpin this, managing to find a small amount of seed funding through the RSA  right at the every beginning of the project, and offering assistance at all stages of the development of this remarkable organisation.

Tech Resort CIC aims to greatly enhance the resources available to young people locally, providing a wide programme of events and courses to support and encourage children to learn about coding, electronics, electronic design and 3D Printing and a range of other valuable skill sets.

Tech Resort  has already been running events for children in the Town for about 18 months based on volunteers, and with help from Aidan Delaney from the University of Brighton, and using space kindly donated by CoHub.  It now has it’s own fabulous premises, over 1000 sq. feet of space on the seafront within shoutign distance of Eastbourne’s iconic (Somewhat charred) Pier and will be running a full programme of courses between now and Christmas 2016, mostly free, a few contributory.

Makerbot - 3D printingApart from the coding activities sessions undertaken by ‘Tech Resort Teens’ Kestrel House will be used as a ‘Maker Space’ – in other words a community centre which provides technology, manufacturing equipment and educational opportunities to students and the general public, but especially for the Devonshire Ward in Eastbourne where the main project funding is needed and has subsequently been directed.

Tech Resort will also help older residents in the local area gain the skills and find support to get online, making sure they are secure when doing so and ensuring they have the same access to the internet so many of us take for granted.

Our MD at the launch EventMany community groups and local CDIT businesses have signed up to a ‘Pledge’. This was the idea of Will Callaghan the driving force behind Tech Resort  which aims to make Eastbourne a great town for digital, tech and creative people, but this will only be managed if all the stakeholders in the Town work together in a coordinated way. The ‘Pledge’ is a first step to achieving this.

Former MP for Eastbourne - Stephen Lloyd is an active supporter
Former MP for Eastbourne – Stephen Lloyd is an active supporter

It was great to see that former long-term Eastbourne MP – Stephen Lloyd and recently elected Eastbourne MP – Caroline Ansell have been wholly supportive of the aims of Tech Resort. There was recent coverage in the local Eastbourne Herald newspaper and significant publicity surrounding last weeks launch, with a broad range of local supporters present.

Local Press Coverage
Local Press Coverage

Our Company  can help start up ventures like Tech Resort by sourcing sound local service providers such as Shredded Neat (another of our Clients) and introducing suitable local, trusted expertise to such organisations, in this case in financial management (Mark Foster from Tax help Services) and digital service providers ABCOM IT Solutions for broadband connectivity and Conxserv who  are one of the few Sussex-based service providers who have total independence from the market and their own ‘dedicated’ data centres here in the County, incidentally long time friends and service providers to Isis Environmental Limited.

Why is Isis involved with this? well we want to make a difference in our own back yard, put something back into the community, having had great successes in the past in the digital arena, with businesses such as Groundsure Limited which went from a tiny idea in a tiny space in Brighton to a £40 million market sale a decade previously.

tr-logoTech Resort finally has the financial backing and premises it needs to deliver it current vision, if we can achieve what we think we can here, in our home town, we will have made a huge difference to the expectations of a whole cohort of children in the town and sown the seeds for encouraging Eastbourne to become one of the most interesting and ambitious digital communities in the United Kingdom.

 

 

£150,000 Government Funding Award for Tech Resort CIC

We are pleased to have been associated with this organisation from the very outset, with one of our Director’s Mark Hadley taking an active role in the formation of the Community Interest Company, and one of a small number of Directors who have supported Tech Resort CIC since inception.

Mark provided some very early seed funding for what was a project at that stage from the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA) Regional Fund to get the ball rolling.

Tech Resort has in its first year been run on a shoestring, but managed some great achievements in the local community.

Now it has been successful in the award of a grant from the Coastal Communities Fund which was awarded on the 25th January.  The grant is the result of six months’ careful planning by Tech Resort with partners – Driving Devonshire Forward, Eastbourne Homes, Eastbourne Borough Council and the Towner Gallery. The bid team as a whole has won £1.84m which will make a massive difference to Eastbourne and put Tech Resort CIC on the map.

Tech Resort CIC will be expanding its code clubs and widening its appeal to include new disciplines such as making and electronics. It aims to start digital literacy sessions for people who’re unable to use computers and get online as well as launching a matching service for talented creative, digital and tech students and local businesses.

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Little Acorns – Groundsure

Back in the mid 1990’s our principal was running a small environmental consultancy and had the bright idea that  there must be some commercial value in collecting environmental data, in the form of national datasets for it’s own site evaluation processes.

Datasets were acquired and developed into a simple database called ‘ContamiCheck’, the value in the reports was thought to be attractive to solicitors, surveyors and other property professionals to provide basic environmental due diligence on sites they were acquiring or selling for their clients.

The initial reports were very simple, paper delivered assessments of which a few dozen were produced each month.  Eventually, this database was taken out from the former business and used as the basis for an ambitious punt at acquiring venture capital to build a new stand alone business.

Metropolitan Venture Partners provided the first tranche of about £650k investment, for the new Company -Groundsure in 2000 and the business launched in 2001.Image

The Company grew and developed, one of only three key businesses in the fast evolving environmental data market.  In April 2007 Emap Ltd announced its acquisition of the entire shareholding capital of GroundSure in a deal valuing the business at around £45 million.

 

 

Pyrolytic Waste Treatment Technology

Korean Pilot Plant

In 2008/9 the company’s lead consultant carried out an initial assessment of a new Cleantec pyrolytic waste process.  The project promoters had entered into early licensing negotiations for commercialisation rights for the innovative technology, which had been developed in South Korea.

 

The purpose of the review was to assess in broad terms whether the per tonne municipal waste treatment costs would make the technology attractive in the developing UK WtE sector. Using only publicly available sources of information, an initial market feasiblity study was carried out and comparisons made with a number of competitive WtE plants that were currently being planned or constructed in the UK, an initial marketing plan was provided to the project promoter. Additionally, commercial discussions were held with parties that had suitable sites and long term waste contracts that could provide the supply contracts for a new market entrant.

Investing in Recycling Technology for the Container Glass Market

During 2009, and again in 2011, Isis Environmental was asked to look at specific technology for crushing glass bottles.  The major problem with recycling glass containers is that they take up a large volume in any commercial waste stream, mainly comprising air spaces.

We examined the UK and EU trends and macro-economic background to the container-glass recycling industry, the value of the mixed and separated cullet and key influences on spot prices, including PRN values.

We then carried out in depth analysis of the commercial viability of a range of crushing technologies currently in the market and assisted our Client with their medium to long term investment planning and assessed the potential market size for the various products.

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Bottle Glass