Winners of postcode lottery green challenge scholarships announced

by Search Gate staff. Published Fri 13 Jun 2014 14:04
Open University scholarships awarded to competition winners

The final of the first Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Scholarship took place at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh today.

The ceremony celebrated the five winning submissions to the UK-wide competition, created to inspire the next generation of green entrepreneurs and innovators.

The winners were awarded a scholarship worth £8,500 to study a green-themed postgraduate degree at The Open University and Martin Turner from Fintry won the best overall submission and will travel to Amsterdam in September to attend the final of the international Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, the world’s largest competition for environmental entrepreneurs.

The five scholarships were awarded to:

* Martin Turner, Fintry with his idea on how to reduce the carbon footprint of rural pubs by developing a model of low-carbon pubs heated by biomass with on-site microbrewery beer production

* Mairi Claire Bowser, Dundee for her ‘Set the Scene’ consultancy, which advises production companies from the film, television and commercial industries on how to develop techniques in sustainable production

* Alexandra Sophia Machray House, Portabello with her ‘On Yer Bike’ App, which encourages people to use their bike with functions, such as an alarm clock, weather forecasts and personalised motivational messages and photos

* Seren Anwen Elin Thomas, South Wales for ‘Envirosave’, a one-stop App, which highlights opportunities on how to be sustainable and more ‘eco aware’ with information on bus/train times, recycling days and centres, workshops and forums

* John Bernardes, Essex with his mobile App, which aims to reduce waste for food consumers with functions, such as a meal planner, recipes, advice on storage and alerts for food products that are about to go out of date and a cash saver.

Scholarships will cover tuition fees for a period of up to three years.

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Scholarship is an exciting new initiative launched this year, which has been made possible thanks to the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The competition has been created to inspire a new breed of students as ‘green economy’ jobs spring up across all sectors. Nearly half a million new jobs are expected to emerge by 2020 as the UK strives to meet the ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions by over a quarter.

Martin Turner, winner of the best overall concept, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be the overall winner, especially against such fantastic ideas from the other finalists.

“I have had the idea for some time and a friend told me about the competition just one week before the submission deadline. The timing coincides well with my retirement. I’m very excited about going to Amsterdam for the final and I’m looking forward to starting my course at The Open University. Hopefully it will help me one day roll out my idea and implement it on a bigger scale.”

Judges include Baroness Verma, Department of Energy and Climate Change; Richard Dixon, Friends of the Earth Scotland; Helen Walker, The Climate Group; Dr Stephen Burnley, the Open University and Jo Bucci, People’s Postcode Lottery.

Energy Minister Baroness Verma said: “It was a real pleasure to chair the judging panel of the first ever final of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Scholarship. Today, in the beautiful surroundings of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, we’ve heard a range of really interesting and exciting submissions from a group of very bright and able green entrepreneurs and innovators.

“I think that this is a wonderful initiative that will go from strength to strength and help support the next generation of innovators. I want to thank the players of People’s Postcode Lottery and The Open University for creating the scholarship and offering students throughout the country the opportunity to put their innovative ideas to the test for the chance to pursue a postgraduate degree, supported by Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Scholarship.

“I wish each of the finalists every success in their future studies at The Open University and very much look forward to seeing their exciting ideas come to life.”

Commenting on behalf of People’s Postcode Lottery, Deputy Head of Charities, Kate Pearson said: “This is the first year of the scholarship and we are hugely encouraged by the quality of the submissions received. We are delighted to award the deserving finalists a Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Scholarship to attend The Open University and are excited to see their fantastic ideas on how to build a greener, more sustainable world become a reality.”

Richard Dixon, Director, Friends of the Earth Scotland and a member of the judging panel said: “Over the last two months, we have considered entries that combine sustainability, entrepreneurship and creativity. We were overwhelmed by the quality of the finalists’ presentations and their creative ideas. It was a difficult task to decide on an overall winner. A huge congratulations to all the finalists.”

The Open University offers a range of postgraduate degree courses within which the scholarship can be used, including Environmental Management, Development Management, Technology Management, Business Administration and Systems Thinking in Practice, to name a few.

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