Could this plant-based product replace plastic? Cambridge firm scoops £40k prize to fund development

16 March 2018, Cambridge News-  A Cambridge company developing a plant-based alternative to plastic has won £40,000 after advancing to the final of a national innovation competition.

Cambond is one of the regional winners of the Shell Springboard programme, which is run by the oil company to encourage the development of new low-carbon products and services.

The Cambond team collects its Shells Springboard prize

The company will now progress to the national Shell Springboard final, taking place in London in May. The national winner will receive a further £110,000, taking its total prize to £150,000.

Cambond has developed a plant based resin with a range of biomass fibres and polymers to make CAMPOSITE, a planet friendly alternative to plastics.

Xiaobin Zhao, the company’s CEO, said: “We are delighted that the judges recognised our product, CAMPOSITE, and its potential as a planet friendly alternative to plastics. We are very excited to go through to the final of Shell Springboard and look forward to the next stage of the competition.”

Cambond were announced as one of the three regional winners at a ceremony held at Trinity Hall last week. Also progressing to the national final were Brill Power, which develops cutting-edge battery management technology to increase the lifetime of lithium-ion battery packs for grid-scale energy storage and electric vehicles and Seawater Greenhouse, which uses sunlight, wind and seawater to grow crops in arid coastal environments.

As well as their cash prizes, the finalists receive essential business advice; from growing their business and building their brand through to guidance on getting the most out of other Shell initiatives, like the access to finance navigator, which helps low-carbon entrepreneurs identify and access new sources of funding.

Gareth Thistleton, Shell’s head of UK social investment said: “The quality of the entrepreneurs coming through Shell Springboard makes me really excited about the future of the UK’s low-carbon energy sector. Shell is thrilled to be helping these young businesses and I can’t wait to see what their future holds.”

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