Five forward-thinking companies behind ingenious products from an air-removing heating device to a water-saving tap fitting have been named as finalists in Ecobuild’s Big Innovation Pitch competition, organised in association with Marks & Spencer.
Air2eau, which ‘creates water out of thin air’; Actimass Ltd, providers of thermal mass solutions; bespoke facilities management company Skanska Facilities Services; specialist heating efficiency expert Tadpole Energy Ltd; and Waterblade, creators of a water-saving fitting, were chosen as finalists from a 15-strong shortlist.
The companies will now make a final pitch to the Big Innovation Pitch judges, including Chris Marney, Head of Engineering and Energy at M&S, in a special conference session hosted by Rachel Riley from the Gadget Show and Countdown on the final day of Ecobuild, the leading international event for construction and energy.
The winner has the chance of taking their product innovation further with M&S, with the potential for trial in the retailer’s network of UK stores.
Ecobuild’s Big Innovation Pitch is open to any company operating in the UK sustainable built environment market and has been created to unearth innovation across the design, construction and energy sectors. The collaboration supports M&S in discovering the latest innovations that will help its properties perform better and be more sustainable. These goals form part of M&S’s Plan A sustainability strategy, under which it aims to source responsibly, reduce waste and help communities, with the ultimate goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer.
Chris Marney commented, “We have been overwhelmed by the response to the Big Innovation Pitch 2016 both in terms of the number and quality of applications. Each of the shortlisted entrants in particular showed ingenuity to develop a product or service that is addressing a real-life issue and spoke with real passion for their future applications.
“We look forward to hearing the pitches of the five finalists at Ecobuild 2016 and selecting the overall winner.”
The Big Innovation Pitch is a key initiative providing a platform for growth, helping businesses fast track their penetration into a wide range of markets. The hugely successful debut at Ecobuild 2015 saw the winning firm Endo Enterprises triumphing over 40 other products entered.
A packed arena witnessed the company pitch the benefits of the energy-saving central heating additive it invented, developed and manufactured, to M&S. The retailer was so impressed by the product’s proven ability to save 15 per cent on heating bills using a simple organic solution that it is now trialing it across 18 stores.
The competition gives entrants an unrivalled opportunity to receive feedback on their product and the way in which they present it. It also helps M&S remain at the forefront of innovation in this space.
Ben Sallon, Managing Director, Endo Enterprises Ltd, said the exposure provided had been very valuable to the firm, in addition to the ability to work with M&S, “Winning the Big Innovation Pitch has certainly raised our profile and was a wholly positive experience.”
All 15 entries shortlisted for the Big Innovation Pitch will be displayed at Ecobuild’s new central social hub the DISCOVER bar.