Saturday, August 12, 2006

Shell to provide financial boost to innovative low carbon business

Shell Springboard is a programme that provides a financial boost to innovative, low carbon business ideas from across the UK. Successfully piloted in 2005, here's how it works:
• Up to 6 awards of between £20,000 and £40,000 are on offer in each of the 3 UK regions.
• The regions are: North (Scotland / Northern Ireland / North East England - Durham and Northumberland / North West England - Cumbria). Central (Central England - East & West Midlands, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire & Wales). South (Southern England - South West, South East, East Anglia & London).
• The number & quality of entries will determine the number of awards given. Each region has a maximum number of awards it can give, but no minimum. The actual number of awards made, and the level of each award will be at the judge's discretion.

• Awards will be made in early 2007.

• The deadline for applications is midnight on Friday 10th November 2006.

• Judging will be carried out by 3 regional panels of independent experts.

• Up to 2 businesses from each region will then meet a national judging panel prior to the announcement of the overall UK winner.

• The Winner and Runner up from the UK judging panel will be awarded with a valuable consultancy session to help them develop their project.

• Previous applicants can reapply for the fund.

• Previous winners can only reapply for the fund with a new project. Projects supported by Shell Springboard will not be supported in subsequent years.

In short, the judges are looking for business plans for a product or service which:
• will lead to greenhouse gas reductions;
• is commercially viable; and
• is innovative.

There are two further aspects that the judges will take into consideration; 1: the likely material impact that the Springboard award will have on your project; and 2: the credibility of the team behind the project.

Eligibility criteria:

There are strict eligibility criteria. Please only submit an application if you:
• are a business set up as a sole trader, partnership, limited company or community interest company (including university or government spin-outs)
• have been established for a minimum of 3 months
• have less than 250 employees
• operate in the UK
• have a project which is your own and/or which you are free to disclose
• have a project that has not previously been supported by a Shell Springboard award

Application process

This is how the process works for applications:
• Submit your application form through this site using the on-line Application Form and Submission Contract. You will be issued with a unique PIN and user name so that you can enter the required information and revise any details online at any time over the application period.
• The deadline for submission is midnight on Friday 10th November 2006. After this time you will not be able to access your application form again.
• An independent group will assess applications (in anonymous form). You will not be contacted for further information so please ensure that you describe your ideas as completely as possible in the application form.
• Unsuccessful applicants will be informed at the beginning of 2007 but no correspondence or appeal can be entered into.
• Shortlisted businesses will then be interviewed at a face-to-face meeting with the judges at one of three UK regional judging events to be held in February 2007. The regional judges will evaluate your idea based on its carbon-saving potential, the degree of innovation and commercial viability. They will also consider the material impact the award will have on the business and the credibility of the team behind the project.
• Awards will be made to the most compelling applications and feedback given to all finalists including those who are disappointed.
• Up to two businesses from each region will also be interviewed at a face-to-face meeting with a national judging panel in March 2007 and an overall UK winner will be announced. The national judges will look at your idea's carbon-saving potential, innovation and commercial viability too, but they will also make an assessment of the credibility of your presentation and team. In other words, they will look at your idea from the perspective of potential investors.
• The Winner and Runner up from the UK judging panel will be awarded with a valuable consultancy session to help them develop their project.

Obligations on winners

The only obligations if you win an award are:
• to spend the funding on the project set out in your application
• to write a letter to Shell at an agreed time, describing what you have achieved (or challenges to achieving your goals - which are just as important)
• to provide material for this website and other publicity
• to participate in a judging panel next year (if requested)


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