Clean-tech university start-up wins top prize at Ethical Business Awards

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Future applications might include charging points for electric cars or personal devices such as smart phones

An innovative flooring system that generates electricity from footsteps and which was dreamed-up in Loughborough University’s Design School, has won its twenty five-year old inventor a top award at the UK’s leading ethical business awards.

Pavegen Systems, whose deceptively simple design flooring system converts the kinetic energy of footfall into electricity, was chosen by a committee of influential figures in the sustainable business committee to win the ‘Big Idea’ category at the prestigious Ethical Business Awards, hosted by The Observer newspaper.

Accepting the £2k award from Chris Murray and Lucy Siegle, the National Grid's Climate Change Champion for Transmission was Laurence Kemball-Cook, inventor of the innovative low-carbon energy solution and CEO of Pavegen Systems. “This award will really open doors for us," he said. "We are at a crucial stage as we grow the company from a start-up into a fully fledged deliverer of renewable energy solutions, and being under the spotlight means that even more of our potential partners will appreciate the very real opportunity that our energy generating paving systems represent for towns and cities all over the world.”

Although only a young company, Pavegen’s low-carbon indoor and outdoor lighting technology has already won an order from Westfield for its new headline Olympic site in Stratford City. The site will be the largest urban shopping centre in Europe. Pavegen is a key element in helping them to achieve their strict targets for environmental sustainability.

And in December 2010 Simon Langton school in Canterbury installed the energy-harvesting floor tiles in one of its busiest corridors.

The current Pavegen paving slab contains a low-energy LED which lights up, communicating the energy transfer idea to the user but only consuming around 5 per cent of the energy from each footstep. The rest of the energy can then be stored in an on-board battery or diverted to any chosen device. Future applications might include charging points for electric cars or personal devices such as smart phones.

Kemball-Cook is keen to exploit his patented technology on roads and is working on a prototype system that will harvest the energy from lorries and cars on motorways and in cities to power street furniture such as lighting and LED information boards.

Loughborough University supported the Pavegen technology in its infancy through a Student Business award. Pro Vice Chancellor for Enterprise, Professor Phill Dickens said: “Pavegen is an excellent example of how our enterprising students can apply their skills to address crucial issues like sustainability. I am delighted to see the company achieve such significant success in just over a year.”

About Pavegen technology
For more info, visit www.pavegen.co.uk

Link to film of Pavegen, made for the Ethical Awards by The Observer:
www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2011/jun/09/winner-big-idea-2011

Link to Videos of Pavegen in action:
www.youtube.com/user/Pavegen

Pavegen Demonstrations:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WeiVkhla5Q&feature=related

About Loughborough University
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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