These London-based startups are pioneering new ways to create cleaner, smarter energy

Exploring the answers to tomorrows energy challenge is at the heart of Shells Make the Future campaign and their flagship event, Construct the Future London. Shell is committed to supporting bright energy ideas and this event will excite, entertain and explore how we can be part of the journey to a low-carbon future. Build the Future London will be happening at the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 30 th June to 3rd July.

Here are the discoverers you can expect to see and interact with at the event.


bio-bean CEO Arthur Kay was an architecture student at The Bartlett, UCL, when he was defined the task of designing a coffee shop. He promptly realised that coffee was being wasted everywhere and set out to address the problem. A little research into the oily sheen that kinds atop coffee left out overnight showed that what we view as grainy leftovers are in fact highly calorific and have the potential to create a power source. Kay began to wonder if the grains could be used to create sustainable energy, and the rest is cappuccino history!

Now, three years on, bio-bean is an award-winning clean technology company that recycles waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels. Working with coffee mills, coffee shop, eateries and offices, bio-bean collects waste coffee grounds and creates solid and liquid biofuels biomass pellets and briquettes for heating and biodiesel for powering transport systems.

Considering around 200,000 tonnes of coffee are wasted every year in London alone, Kay realised hed hit on a win eco-idea. After graduating in 2013, he collected startup fund and supporting from Shell through the Shell Springboard programme – which supports low-carbon SMEs. bio-bean now operates from a London HQ, laboratory and the worlds first waste coffee recycling factory.

bio-bean has created a variety of genius ways to repurpose coffee grounds, including the creation of biomass pellets, coffee logs, biodiesel and biochemicals. In 2015 the company launched nationwide collection services and opened a waste coffee recycling mill at Alconbury Weald. The bio-bean mill can process 50,000 tonnes a year, the waste from one in ten cups of coffee drunk in the UK!

As a 2014 Shell Springboard finalist and an exciting those participating in the Make The Future London line-up, bio-bean will be offering hot dog straight-out from the barbecue, with a spin. The fuel used on the BBQ is made from trash coffee grounds will you be able to savor certain differences?


Who knew that gravity could create sunlight? The GravityLight Foundation hopes to bring sustainable light to the estimates 1.5 billion people who lack access to electricity worldwide. Designers Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves at London startup Deciwatt won the 2015 Shell Springboard grant with GravityLight, an invention which takes merely seconds to lift a weight that powers a lamp, creating 20 minutes of light on its descent. The nifty device works employing a 12 kg bag threaded through a patented electricity-generating device which powers an LED light the technology produces safe lighting with no likelihood of burns, house fires or kerosene-related illnesses.

GravityLight could replace the biomass gasolines chiefly kerosene lamps which so many families in the developing world will vary depending on for illumination. Co-creator Jim Reeves tells of the dangers of current electricity alternatives: Millions of these people are forced into the poverty trap of using kerosene, which can consume as much as 30% of household incomes. GravityLight reduces a familys kerosene expend and will pay for itself within just two to three months of building the switching.

By reducing the dependence on kerosene GravityLight hopes to make a difference to world health. Currently over a million people in India alone have suffered severe burns as a result of using dangerous kerosene lamps replacing that kerosene with gravity will create a safer, sustainable future.

You can take the GravityLight challenge for yourself at Make the Future London using merely everyday objects you can fill your own weight container and hoist it up just as you would to power a GravityLight. Its a race against the clock!


Born in a Brixton bedsit with merely four employees, Pavegen develops and fabricates flooring technology that converts the wasted kinetic energy from human footfall into renewable energy. This clean tech energy source can power applications such as lighting, signage and communications networks in both indoor and outdoor surroundings. Started by entrepreneur Laurence Kemball-Cook in 2009, the company now has 40 permanent faculty across the world, and theyre on the up!

After securing a startup award from the Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award fund – and funding from the Shell Springboard 2013 finals – Pavegen installed floor tiles across 22 countries around the world in 2014. These included a Walk the Light experience at Heathrow Terminal 3, which powers LED illuminations situated along the walls of a busy corridor. Pavegen has also worked with Shell to install two football pitchings one in a Favela in Morro da Miniera, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and one in Lagos, Nigeria with kinetic tiles beneath the pitch which, combined with solar power, powered the pitching floodlights at night.

Make the Future London will host an interactive football challenge between London and Lagos. A Pavegen eco-pitch will be installed at the event where school students from London will be given the chance to compete against adversaries in Lagos. The competitor will be introduced by none other than the football legend Pele in London.

If you’re not a student but you still want a piece of the action, you will also get the chance to run on the Pavegen tiles to ‘charge’ up the countdown clock then score as many objectives as possible before the charge runs out.

In addition to showcasing the bright energy notions from these inspiring entrepreneurs, Induce the Future London will play host to a range of immersive experiences designed to encourage dialogue about the energy challenge. Experience the answers shaping tomorrow – # makethefuture.

Get your free tickets to Induce The Future London here !

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