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Postcode Lottery announces green scholarship with the Open University

Date
11 March 2014
Postcode Lottery announces green scholarship with the Open University

LONDON: The international launch of the 2014 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge took place yesterday in London, with key speakers including Annemiek Hoogenboom, UK Director of People’s Postcode Lottery and Baroness Verma, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

In tandem with the official opening of the low carbon entrepreneurial competition, a special Green Challenge Open University scholarship scheme for British students was also unveiled.

The Green Challenge encourages start-up entrepreneurs to share their CO2-reducing business ideas to be in with a chance of winning €500,000 (~US$694,000).The winning entry will be brought to market within two years and will reduce greenhouse gases significantly.

The event kicked off with speeches from both Annemiek Hoogenboom, Director of People’s Postcode Lottery in the UK and Marieke van Schaik, Managing Director of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, with both women affirming the interest of the Postcode Lottery in tackling climate change. Ms. Van Schaik highlighted the global impact of the clean business competition which is now in its eight year, and the importance of supporting new thinkers who can energize the low carbon debate.

The Postcode Lottery’s Managing Director stressed that the win was just the beginning and that the successful contestant would receive training in communication strategy, as well as networking advice. Nick Christy, the CEO of CINTEP, a water recycling shower company, and a former Green Challenge winner, then attested to the merit of the competition. Mr. Christy explained how the support of the Postcode Lottery was crucial in turning his idea into a viable business model. The Recycling Shower reduces water and energy consumption by 70%, resulting in up to 70% lower running costs than a normal shower.

GREEN CHALLENGE SCHOLARSHIP

In addition to the Green Challenge launch, the Postcode Lottery announced a new partnership with the Open University. The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Scholarship gives four prospective and current postgraduate students at The Open University the chance to win their tuition fees, up to a maximum of £8,500 (US$14,100) each. It is hoped that this scheme will enable passionate young innovators to become the green leaders of tomorrow.

Professor Andy Lane from The Open University elaborated that The Open University’s online educational model cuts out travel emissions and hence lowers the student population’s carbon footprint.

Baroness Verma used the afternoon’s penultimate speech to praise The Postcode Lottery for its commitment to furthering the green agenda. She also highlighted what that the Department of Energy and Climate Change is doing to encourage new inventors in the sustainability sphere, and noted that it has recently awarded the former EarthHack winner, Radfan. She stated: "In order to realize our green goals, we have to capture the imagination of young British innovators and this is a fantastic prize in order to do so. I would also urge Britain's vibrant community of green inventors and innovators to apply to the international Green Challenge competition as this really could bring their idea to life and make a sizeable contribution towards cutting carbon emissions."

Helen Walker, International Head of Development, The Climate Group, said: “The Postcode Lottery is a long standing partner of The climate Group and together our organizations recognize innovation as key to fighting climate change. The Green Challenge is a first class initiative for finding and highlighting innovative products and services that can make a difference in our joint goals of creating a prosperous, low carbon future for all. This is why we continue to help promote the competition globally within our network to encourage even more brilliant entries from the next generation of environmentally engaged entrepreneurs.”

Related news:

Green entrepreneur with the best business plan will win €500,000

Innovation Game Changers: Meet 3 entrepreneurs who will be disrupting low carbon materials in 2014

India secures a €200 million EIB loan to expand its clean energy projects

By Alana Ryan

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