Deadline extended to encourage more applications with ideas that will shape a ‘green’ city

Pav Patel, left, and Gary Graves, founders of Peterborough Reuse. Photo supplied
Pav Patel, left, and Gary Graves, founders of Peterborough Reuse. Photo supplied
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Funding worth more than £400,000 is still available to finance innovative ideas that will help shape an eco-friendly Peterborough.

Two funds have been created specifically to encourage entrepreneurs with cutting edge ideas to step forward and make the blueprint a reality.

The cash is available through the Peterborough DNA programme that aims to shape a smarter, more sustainable city.

One cashpot is the Innovation Challenge Fund, which runs the Brainwave Innovation Portal.

It is a free to use online platform where entrepreneurs, experts, businesses and residents can put forward their solutions to city challenges.

After two successful rounds of funding, the deadline for the final round has been extended to January 9, to allow more time to apply.

The fund offers one award of £20,000, two of £5,000 and three of up to £1,000 to take innovative ideas forward.

The second is the Test-Bed Fund, which encourages firms to trial product technologies, service or solutions in a real business environment in Fengate.

Grants of £50,000 are available to develop ideas. Applications must be received by January 9.

DNA programme director and acting chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, Steve Bowyer said: “We’ve seen some fantastic business ideas become a reality this year and we were so impressed with the most recent applications that we’ve extended the final deadline to get more people to apply.”

For more details and to apply visit


Case study one: Brainwave funds fuelled recycling plan

A love of coffee got Pav Patel and Gary Graves thinking when they spotted a challenge on the Brainwave Innovation Portal.

The challenge had been posted by Peterborough’s international coffee manufacturer Masteroast, which was searching for ways to divert large quantities of coffee sacks from landfill.

With the support of Peterborough DNA, Pav and Gary came up with the idea for Peterborough Reuse.

The two entrepreneurs were awarded £5,000 from the Innovation Challenge Fund to help launch their idea, and are now reusing the hession bags as mulch for use in tree planting, riverbank reinforcement as part of flood protection schemes, and a range of textile products such as shopping bags.

The business is also promoting collaboration across Peterborough by employing members of ‘new arrival’ communities to help them integrate into the city and improve their English.

Pav said: “The ambition for Peterborough Reuse is to create a friendly, local hub where people can come to recycle their unwanted belongings.

“We are currently looking at other waste issues in Peterborough and are working with the council to develop new ways of reusing waste within the city.”

Case study two: Solar fired heater

Inventor Michael Reid, of Solar Polar, received £20,000 from the Innovation Challenge Fund to develop his prototype solar powered terrace heater and take it to market.

The heater’s panels capture and store the sun’s energy during daylight and convert it to heat energy, providing warmth.

It produces zero emissions and is designed to replace regular gas and electric heaters.

Case study three: New wind turbine

Global Air Dynamics, of Fengate, Peterborough, received £50,000 through the Test-Bed Fund to trial its innovative new wind turbine technology.

Mario D’Andrea, founder, said: “We’re developing a compact, efficient and aesthetically pleasing wind turbine that can be used in urban settings as well as larger rural structures.

“This funding has provided us with the resources we need to bring our technology to market so that it can contribute towards the UK’s climate change target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.”