Category: Environment Challenge

Using the Geovation Hub as a Geovation winner

By , 20 July, 2015 8:00 am

A guest blog from Richard Page of Carbon Prophet, a winner of our 2013 Environment Challenge. Several of our winners from various challenges have already begun to make use of the Geovation Hub and find it a great place to work, network, innovate, and share ideas.

It is always exciting to be asked to attend the launch of something and so, when an email dropped into my inbox inviting me to the launch of the all new Geovation Hub, I quickly accepted.

For those who don’t know, the Hub is designed to be a collaborative space where geographers, developers, challenge winners and others can come together to ensure that winning ideas can access all the support that they need to make a success of their projects.

So, it was with real excitement that I found myself, at 5pm on a Thursday evening, being escorted into the Geovation Hub. I won’t go into the details of the evening that will be done in much more detail by others, but I do want to explain why I feel that the Hub is important.

Continue reading 'Using the Geovation Hub as a Geovation winner'»

Green innovation ventures for sustainability

By , 3 June, 2015 9:55 am

This Friday is World Environment Day.

World Environment Day

World Environment Day was established in 1973 and takes place annually on 5 June. The event is organised by the United Nations Environment Programme, each year around a different theme. The theme this year is sustainable consumption and production.

As a part of its community focus, GeoVation takes an interest in events and projects that support the environment. Our 2013 Environment Challenge, ‘How can we help British business improve environmental performance?’, was very successful and led to funding for four ideas, all of which encourage sustainable living practices.
Continue reading 'Green innovation ventures for sustainability'»

New educational resources from GeoCraft

By , 5 May, 2015 8:00 am

Things have been getting very exciting for GeoCraft over the past few months!

We have been busy creating maps and educational resources for teachers to use with their students of interesting places around the UK. We were able to launch our first free resources for key stage 2 and key stage 3 teachers on glaciated features on Mount Snowdon in February. This teaches pupils about the glaciation process before they re-building the glacier that once existed on Snowdon using Minecraft. The map and resource can be downloaded free from our website.

We’re launching our next Geography resource for our Snowdon map next. This resource teaches pupils about compasses, coordinates and grid references as through a series of activities, including building their own compass in Minecraft.

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The Green Alchemist empowers businesses to recycle

By , 16 February, 2015 8:00 am

Element Green Recycling, one of the winners from our 2013 challenge ‘How do we help British business improve environmental performance?’, has recently released a new web application intended to make recycling more financially rewarding for businesses. The Green Alchemist app allows business to sort their recyclable waste and helps them make money from it by selling it to waste couriers.

Business rates do not cover waste and recycling services, meaning that businesses must manage their own own. Contamination causes 30% of recyclable waste to be sent to landfill each year. Sorting recyclable waste reduces contamination and increases its value.

The Green Alchemist provides details on waste couriers in the UK; pricing on recyclable materials; an auction facility for used furniture, electronic goods and recyclable waste; and products to help businesses recycle, such as the Green Pod. Businesses can use The Green Alchemist to auction quantities of recyclable waste or to request quotes for its collection; and waste couriers can use it to locate businesses with sorted recyclable waste for sale or collection. Householders can also use the app to locate recycling facilities in their area and the website to sell secondhand furniture and used goods. Continue reading 'The Green Alchemist empowers businesses to recycle'»

Streetkleen: Helping make Britain a better place to live

By , 23 September, 2014 8:15 am

By Gary Downie, MD of Streetkleen Bio

Streetkleen Bio was the winner of the ‘How do we improve the environmental performance of British business?’ GeoVation Challenge.

StreetKleen Logo

They say inspiration can strike in the most unusual places. For me my eureka moment came three years ago while trying to maneuver my son’s buggy around the piles of dog poo littering the streets near my home.

Everyone deserves to live in a nice environment and as studies have shown, dog fouling can really bring neighbourhoods down, deterring both investment and visitors.

Dog Poo BinI was incensed that some irresponsible dog owners refused to clear up after their pets but I was also struck by the waste. In nature nothing is wasted, but we humans have an annoying habit of just burying things in the ground instead of doing something useful with them. What a waste of natural assets!

Dog poo, just like sewage and farm manure is an excellent feedstock for anaerobic digestion – a biological process that produces bio gas for heating and creating electricity. It’s a technology that’s been around for decades, but as energy prices soar and the impact on our climate of burning fossil fuels becomes apparent, government and industry alike are looking to anaerobic digestion as an important part of the renewable energy strategy. Continue reading 'Streetkleen: Helping make Britain a better place to live'»

An innovative approach to dog waste

By , 12 August, 2014 8:15 am

Gary Downie, of Streetkleen Bio’s idea to develop a practical, innovative solution based around the anaerobic digestion of dog waste to create usable energy (methane), was awarded funding in the GeoVation Challenge to improve business environmental performance.

image of some one collecting dog wasteDog fouling is a major issue for many of our towns and cities and is consistently raised as a public concern.  Local Authorities have not been able to provide a long term, lasting solution to overcome this issue. In addition, the collection and disposal of dog waste is problematic with decisions needed on where and how many dog waste disposal points to allocate and how often are they used and need servicing?   In the UK, there are over 1200 tonnes of dog waste generated daily (Pet Foods Manufacturing Association 2012) and the financial cost of sending Local Authority collected dog waste to landfill is estimated at £72 million per year (Keep Britain Tidy). The environmental cost is also substantial and mountains of small plastic bags containing dog waste are sent to landfill daily, often in bags that take decades to degrade. Finding an alternative disposal method for dog waste is a challenge.

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New GeoVation booklet published!

By , 17 June, 2014 8:00 am

We’re pleased to announce the latest version of the GeoVation Booklet has now been published!  The booklet includes information on GeoVation Challenges and case studies on winning ideas!

The booklet has some intereImage of the GeoVation booklet cover and hyperlink to downloadsting facts about GeoVation which was launched in October 2009. In that time:

2511 participants have registered

630 ideas have been submitted

77 teams have participated in GeoVation Camps and

28 winners have been awarded a share of over £637,000 in innovation funding to develop their ventures.

There’s information on all our GeoVation  challenges from our first GeoVation Awards Programme in 2009  through our problem focussed challenges aimed at building local resilience. In 2010 we launched 2 challenges focussed on how we could feed ourselves in Britain and reduce the environmental impact of transport in a sustainable way. In 2012 we ran a challenge focussed on resolving neighbourhood problems and building a sense of community, and a further challenge themed around connecting communities and visitors along the new Wales Coast Path to tie in with its launch.  In 2013 the GeoVation Challenge focussed on improving environmental performance, set against the context that UK companies could save £6 billion a year if they used resources more efficiently. Our latest  challenge aimed at encouraging active lifestyles  was focussed on the £8bn cost to the UK economy as a result of our inactivity.

We’ve made the booklet available online, so you can find out how you can innovate with GeoVation, the GeoVation journey, about the 28 winners Ordnance Survey has funded  and the ideas they have launched or which are in development.

Download your copy of the GeoVation booklet and find out more!

Individual case studies are also available on our website

If you would like a copy of the GeoVation booklet sent to you, please email us at champions@geovation.org.uk

GeoVation Challenges are open to entrepreneurs, developers, community groups, government and individuals. They are focussed on finding innovative and useful ways of using geographical information, including open data and tools, to build new ventures that will generate social, economic and/ or environmental value.

 

 

We’re really excited! For many months now we have been working on Click here to download booklet creating a GeoVation booklet to include information on  GeoVation Challenges and case studies on winning ideas – and now its published!

The booklet  has some interesting facts about GeoVation which has been running since October 2009.  In that time:

  • 1448 participants have registered
  • 509 ideas have been submitted
  • 57 teams have participated in GeoVation Camps and
  • 20 winners have been awarded a share of over £435, 000 in innovation funding to develop their ventures.

GeoVation Challenges are open to entrepreneurs, developers, community groups, government and individuals.  They are focussed on finding innovative and useful ways of using geographical information, including open data and tools, to build new ventures that will generate social, economic and/ or environmental value.

We’ve made the booklet available online,  so you can find out more about how you can innovate with GeoVation, the GeoVation journey,  the ideas we have funded so far and the people who make GeoVation happen.  We’ve also made the case studies available individually on line – see our case study map.

Download your copy of the GeoVation booklet and find out more!

- See more at: https://www.geovation.org.uk/?s=booklet&x=0&y=0#sthash.jKzEvtIB.dpuf

The future is bright, the future is CARBON!

By , 6 May, 2014 8:15 am

Todays guest blog is by Richard Page, of Carbon Prophet, one of our winners from our Challenge in May 2013: ‘How do we help British business improve environmental performance’ – supported by the Environment Agency. Carbon Prophet were awarded £29,000 and also won the Community Award of £1,000.

AR Carbon received the final tranche of its GeoVation grant funding. As we are seven months into our project ‘Carbon Prophet’ and looking to launch ourselves into the open market, it seems the ideal time to see how things are progressing.

Our project is all about encouraging farmers to rebuild the natural fertility of their soils. One of the most obvious ways of achieving this is to encourage the use of compost as a source of nutrients and as a way of improving soil structure. Obviously we don’t want to use peat-based composts, so we need to find significant supplies of an alternative and that means using green waste compost. Unfortunately, this is not as straightforward as you might think; most green waste compost needs significant work to improve it before it is suitable for use on commercial farms. So, in order to ensure sufficient supplies of a quality product, we have opened negotiations with a number of local authorities to work with them to improve the product that they produce and we aim to have high quality green waste compost available for the start of spring 2015.

Continue reading 'The future is bright, the future is CARBON!'»

Element Green Recycling – The Journey so far

By , 9 April, 2014 8:10 am

Today’s guest blog is from Ayo Isinkaye, CEO of Element Green Recycling, one of our winners of the  ‘How can we help British Business improve environmental performance?’ Challenge supported by the Environment Agency. Element Green Recycling won funding of £22,000 to develop their idea – ‘How to reduce costs and make money by separating your waste ’(Green Alchemist).

 

 

Waiting to hear if my proposal was one of the four winners for the GeoVation competition was the most nail-biting moment of my life. Element Green Recycling’s Green Alchemist project was the fourth name to be announced! I was cool on the outside when I stood up to collect our prize and smile at the camera, but I was doing cartwheels on the inside. Two days of working hard at the camp, refining and redeveloping my business idea had paid off. Continue reading 'Element Green Recycling – The Journey so far'»

Minecraft in the classroom

By , 26 March, 2014 8:00 am

Today’s guest blog is from Zoe Ross of Happy Education.  Zoe was awarded funding of £28,000 to develop her idea, GeoCraft, in our GeoVation Challenge, How can we help British businesses improve environmental performance, supported by the Environment Agency.

GeoCraft enables schools and local businesses to work together to encourage learning about sustainability through Minecraft,  a hugely popular video game set in virtual 3D worlds made up of cubes of different materials. Using Ordnance Survey data, it would stimulate children to think about environmental challenges and ideas to solve these, and could be fed back to the local business to implement. Zoe tells us what’s been happened since winning funding form GeoVation.

‘That was the best lesson ever!’

This is music to the ears of any teacher and something that I’ve been lucky enough to hear on many occasions in the last few months as I have been trialing our GeoCraft project with the Year 6 pupils at Yorston Lodge School.

Pupils’ delight in and enthusiasm for the club has been palpable and their feedback and suggestions for improving the project has been invaluable.

MineCraft building tatton park mansion

Building the Tatton Park mansion as part of our work on Knutsford

Continue reading 'Minecraft in the classroom'»