Higher education firm announces new £10,000 “Net Zero Award”


A NEW environmentally friendly aimed award worth £10,000 has just been launched to help turn a global challenge into an opportunity to “reinvent our future.”

The “Net Zero Award” has been set up by Converge a company creation programme for the Higher Education Sector.

The award comes ahead of COP26 which is set to take place in Glasgow this November where Scotland will host the UN Climate Change Conference. 

The company says. climate change is the defining crisis of our time with Scotland’s universities playing a key role in the race to accelerate Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy.

Academic entrepreneurs, in particular, are said to have the necessary skills, ambition and ethos to turn this global challenge into an opportunity to reinvent our future.

The winner of the new Converge Net Zero Award will be selected from participants from this year’s Converge, Impact and Creative Challenge cohorts.

Faisal Ghani Founder SolarisKit - Environment News Scotland
Faisal Ghani Founder of  SolarisKit and winner of the 2019 Impact Challenge.

In 2019 Faisal Ghani, winner of Converge’s Impact Challenge and creator of SolarisKit, a flat-packable, low-cost solar thermal collector that converts sunlight directly into hot water.

Faisal’s innovation is hailed as having large commercial potential, particularly in the developing world, with the promise of lifting millions of people out of energy poverty while at the same time making a large dent in carbon emissions.

By 2025, SolarisKit aims to have installed over 90,000 collectors, annually saving over 27 million kilograms of carbon emissions.

Projects from all sectors will be eligible but construction & the built environment; transport; agriculture and energy are of particular relevance, given the impact they have on Climate.

Claudia Cavalluzzo, Director of Converge said: “We launched our Impact Challenge in 2019 in response to a growing appetite from socially and environmentally conscious academic entrepreneurs.

“Now, two years on, a quarter of proposals across all our challenge categories are for net zero projects.

“With the climate emergency one of our biggest global threats and the need to take action more urgent and immediate than ever, I foresee even more climate conscious entrepreneurs stepping up to help shape our low carbon future.

“By launching the Converge Net Zero Award we hope to galvanise academic entrepreneurs across Scotland to develop scalable new technologies and nature-based solutions that will enable us to create a cleaner, greener, more resilient world”

The winner of the 2021 Converge Net Zero Award will be announced at the final of the annual Converge Awards which takes place on 30 September, a few weeks before the UN climate talks at COP26 take place in Glasgow in November.

Submissions to the 2021 Converge, launched last month, remain open until 30th March.