We have been helping Waterblade Limited develop some aspects of its highly innovative water-saving device since November 2014. As part of the ongoing assistance we have provided through the Green Growth Platform we were asked to assist with the preparation of the Waterblade application for the Gogarburn Challenge
Gogarburn is the HQ of RBS group in Edinburgh, the competition was run earlier this year with the objective to find innovative products and solutions for the RBS Group which include reducing energy and water use, waste creation or even enhancing biodiversity on their site. Gogarburn is due for a major regeneration which will increase staff numbers on site from 3,500 at present to 6,000 members in the future.
Waterblade was selected together with 7 other winners from a field of 107 entrants and will now have the potential to demonstrate its product on this massive site. We are hugely proud to be associated with this great environmental product.
Mark 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.
Apart 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.
Many 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.
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.
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.
Tech 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.
We have known our latest recruit – Nadine Weaver since 2002 when she first came to work
in one of our other business enterprises in Brighton. Nadine is from Swansea in South Wales and had already been working for some time in the St. James Veterinary Group in Wales with a BTEC National Diploma as a Veterinary Nurse.
She has since greatly extended her reach, become qualified in teaching both in the UK and overseas, with some considerable time spent working in Brazil, where we share many links in common.
We are very pleased to report that Nadine has successful qualified from Swansea University with a degree in Environmental Conservation.
Nadine has joined the team here at Isis Environmental in June 2015 and will be working on a number of projects, where we need additional research capability for new environmental business start-ups and as advisers in growth acceleration for SME’s with an environmental product or service.
Handily, Nadine can bring to the table considerable experience in Marine Biology in which Swansea excels, plus a good set of core skills, including speaking fluent Portuguese and teaching/training experience
Well last week saw the Ecotechnology Show move to the home of Brighton & Hove Albion the in the fabulous new AMEX Stadium at Falmer, a good move from its previous site in central Brighton.
We were really pleased to be there on the first day, the 11th June to see two of our clients exhibiting at this prestigious event, both Planet Feed who turn food waste into liquid fertilisers were exhibiting as were Waterblade Limited who have developed a revolutionary new water saving device that converts the flow from a normal water tap to a ‘blade’ of water, which whilst still providing the same amount of ‘washing action’ uses just 25% of what a normal tap would.
We have recently been working with Waterblade Limited to hopefully develop their product by getting access to a major UK business where the technology could be trialed. This product is going to be a major contribution in terms of the Low Carbon Economy, saving as it does substantial amounts of energy during the whole life cycle of potable water (from abstraction, treatment, storage, delivery and infrastructure maintenance requirements) production as well as reducing direct energy inputs needed to create hot water for washing at source.
There were some other interesting exhibitors including the fascinating and highly original Chimella which provides what can only be described as a chimney umbrella, which can be inserted into a chimney flue, opened from below and reduced both heat loss as well as ensuring debris and birds cannot enter during the summer months when fires are not being used.
All in all some great concepts and more than go to provide that we here in the South-East are providing unique, cutting edge solutions to some of society’s problems. We here at Isis Environmental are very fortunate to be part of a major programme being rolled out by the Green Growth Platform as part of Brighton University’s major new initiative.
Isis Environment were very pleased to be introduced to an exciting and award winning new venture called ‘Planet Feed’ assisting them between January and March 2015
As a member of the University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform Green Growth Platform we worked with the founder of Planet Feed, Charlie Clarke on some aspects the business’s approach to its next stage of development.
Already piloted www.planetfeed.org takes locally sourced food waste and turns it into high quality liquid fertiliser, putting this back into the community from whence it came. We came in to take a look at the work so far, review the existing business plan and examine the business model.
In the short time available to us, we worked on a funding and sponsorship strategy, developed some targets and honed together a suitable elevator pitch for the business
Our approach is increasingly taking us into areas with social enterprises such as Planet Feed where we can add value through our contacts and knowledge across a very broad range of environmental products and services.
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.
It is always worthwhile taking the time to participate in events which are taking place in your area, and it was with this in mind that we attended the inaugural launch of the Green Growth Platform in May this year.
The Green Growth Platform will act as a catalyst for growth and innovation, and will provide a range of services to small and medium-sized enterprises and is a five year programme with £3 million of funding from the Higher Education Funding Council.
The University of Brighton has for many years worked in partnership with businesses to combine academic expertise and research with business applications and we have had continued links with the University over many years, originally working to supply an environmental auditing course back in the 1990’s and providing an external examiner for the MSc in environmental science, to more recent training work.
We very much support the work being done by Green Growth Platform being both members as well as advisers to this innovative initiative.