27th November 2019
A vertical wind turbine that harvests energy from passing vehicles; hydrogen electrolysers that can refuel buses in just five minutes; a new high-speed parcel delivery service and a tram network offering carbon free, sustainable travel.
The companies driving these innovative solutions were given an opportunity to pitch their technologies to an audience of investors, potential customers and decision makers at the inaugural Kent Invents Transport Showcase held in Canterbury on Friday (22/11).
The event was hosted by Locate in Kent alongside Cripps Pemberton Greenish and the Kent and Medway Engineering and Design Growth (EDGE) Hub at Augustine House, Canterbury Christ Church University. Delegates enjoyed a series of presentations from cutting-edge businesses leading efforts to disrupt the way industry thinks about energy optimisation in supply chain logistics and distribution networks.
The four companies invited to present were:
Alpha 311 – Based in Faversham, this company intends to change the way people think about wind turbine technology with an innovative energy harvesting solution that aims to provide free power, while generating revenue to improve local communities.
The technology could be used, for example, to power streetlights across Kent – cutting local council energy costs considerably – with residual electricity providing a green source of energy for distribution nationwide.
Ryse Hydrogen – This company, using a power plant linked to the Kentish Flats Offshore Windfarm, has ambitions to be a one-stop shop for large vehicle fleets to acquire affordable and green hydrogen.
The company intends to install and operate hydrogen electrolysers, distribution networks and dispensing equipment. Using this equipment, one refuelling station can service a whole depot. Refuelling is rapid, with a bus taking just five minutes. From Spring 2020, people in London will be able to get on board the world’s first hydrogen powered double decker buses – using power supplied by Ryse.
Magway – This revolutionary e-commerce delivery pipeline won government funding in an Innovate UK competition, funding a demonstrator to illustrate how a full-scale system would operate.
Their concept would involve a network of distribution and consolidation centres linked by a system of underground pipelines similar to those used by water, gas and electricity companies.
KenEx Tram – This exciting new project intends to provide an accessible, sustainable, public transport link between North Kent and South Essex, with the promise of significant economic benefits to the area whilst also tackling road congestion.
Using the latest mass transit technology, the proposed tram network would operate without overhead lines, with batteries charged at stops in just 20 seconds. The trams would also reuse around a third of its own energy.
Gavin Cleary, CEO, Locate in Kent, said: “Kent Invents was an excellent opportunity to hear from cutting edge companies that are driving technological change in Kent and Medway and shine a light on the benefits their ideas could bring to the county.
“Kent has a strong heritage in manufacturing and engineering and we are seeing the next generation of innovators coming through, confirming Kent’s position as a premium location for pioneering businesses looking to grow.”
Professor Helen James, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Designate of Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Kent Invents Transport Showcase to Canterbury Christ Church University.
“Our Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE Hub) works in partnership with businesses, actively responding to their industry needs in an age of digital transformation, and provides the education and training to develop a new generation of engineers and technical professionals to help reduce the skills shortage across Kent.
“The new technologies presented at the event were a wonderful example of how creative Engineering can help solve the issues affecting the world around us.”
Pete Kenyon, Partner at Cripps Pemberton Greenish, said: “As business leaders, how we respond to the challenges we face will define us. Our chosen response at Cripps Pemberton Greenish is to drive and champion innovation, both internally and with our clients.
“We are therefore looking to work closely with other Kent business leaders to drive an agenda around innovation and to continue to build some real momentum around Kent as a place for businesses to innovate. Events like Kent Invents are a huge part of that and it is inspiring to hear the stories shared.”