Deborah Meaden and Vivienne Westwood join hunt for green entrepreneurs

08 April 2013

Ground-breaking fashion designer, Dame Vivienne Westwood and Dragon's Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden are to join the Mayor, Boris Johnson’s hunt for tomorrow’s green entrepreneurs as judges for his 2013 Low Carbon Prize.

With a share of £20,000 up for grabs, and the chance to be shortlisted for a paid internship with sponsors Siemens, the Mayor’s Low Carbon Prize challenges students from across London to come up with the most innovative ideas to reduce carbon emissions in the capital.

Finalists will have the chance to pitch their ideas to the judges with the winners claiming not only the title but the opportunity to turn their designs into a commercial reality with cash and practical support. London is already at the centre of innovation for green technologies with the capital’s low carbon and environmental goods and services sector worth an estimated £27 billion.

Supporting innovation in this field will not only help reduce carbon emissions from buildings, transport and energy infrastructure but will also deliver jobs and economic growth.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The green economy is booming in London and I want young Londoners to harness their ingenuity and seize their chance to get involved. Help us find the next big idea, not only to slash our carbon emissions but to provide an exciting boost to London's green economy.”

Also on this year’s judging panel will be the director of the Science Museum, Ian Blatchford, as well as world-leading architect Sir Terry Farrell and environmentalist Zac Goldsmith MP, both of whom helped judge last year's prize.

Dame Vivienne Westwood said: “If we want a sound economy we have to have a sound environment. What’s good for the planet is good for the economy. The Low Carbon prize gives young people the chance to engage with this challenge.”

Leading entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den investor, Deborah Meaden, is also backing the Mayor’s Low Carbon Prize. She said: “I am delighted to support initiatives like this that help both people and the environment. The potential of London’s green economy is huge, and it is vital that we seek solutions that reduce London’s wider impact whilst providing jobs for local people. The Low Carbon Prize is open to all sorts of ideas to reduce carbon emissions and exactly what is needed to identify tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and business leaders.”

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group, said: “Here at the Science Museum we celebrate innovation and the big ideas that help improve and shape our world. As an organisation we are dedicated to supporting climate science and sustainability, and I look forward to seeing how this competition can uncover inspiring new ideas to help reduce London’s carbon footprint.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Siemens Crystal on Thursday 13th June. 

Notes to editors

The Low Carbon Prize is open to students at Further and Higher Education Institutes across the London. The prize closes 17th May 2013

∙ The winning entries for this year's Low Carbon Prize will be rewarded with cash and support to help develop the practical application of their ideas. The twenty shortlisted candidates will also have the chance to win a paid internship with Siemens. Lasting 3 to 12 months the internships will offer students a fantastic career boosting opportunity with direct industry experience tailored to their interests and development needs.

∙ The Low Carbon Prize has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from Siemens and the support of the London University’s Environmental Group (LUEG) who are helping to deliver the scheme by processing applications and promoting the award to London's students. ‪

∙ All ideas submitted to the competition must contribute towards reducing London CO2 emissions and will be judged against the following criteria: Originality, practical application - it must work, clarity, broader sustainability benefits, proposals can be for anything as long as it meets the relevant criteria. To take part, students will be expected to complete an online application form, setting out their idea.

∙ The £20,000 prize will be split between the two best entries to further develop their idea. ‪

∙ To enter the competition visit: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/environment/greening-london ‪∙ Siemens is a global engineering company with a focus on the key sectors of Energy, Industry, Healthcare and Infrastructure & Cities. The Crystal, a Siemens initiative based in London, is an innovative visitor attraction and home to the global centre of competence for cities. For more information visit: www.siemens.co.uk and www.thecrystal.org

∙ The short-listed winners from the Mayor of London's Low Carbon Prize competition will qualify for automatic entry into a select candidate pool for an internship opportunity at The Crystal or another Siemens location in the UK. They will be invited to go through an interview and assessment selection centre and if they are successful they will secure a paid internship at the company. Current interns at The Crystal have had marketing, sustainability, events and engineering experience. All candidates must meet Siemens business criteria, successfully pass DAMEX security checking and show eligibility to work in the UK documentation.

∙ The Science Museum’s world-class collection of human ingenuity forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Climate science and sustainability are an important focus of the Museum, including the atmosphere gallery and a supporting programme of climate themed activities and events. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement. For further information, please visit sciencemuseum.org.uk or follow the museum via facebook and twitter.