Tuesday 26 April 2011

British Council

The British Council and LRQA launch E-idea competition to find eco-entrepreneurs in Japan and Asia-Pacific

E-idea is an innovative competition that funds, supports and mentors young eco-entrepreneurs, aged 18-35, from seven Asia-Pacific countries.

The E-idea competition launches in Japan on April 26th, 2011, and will also run in Australia, China, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. In each country, the competition will be open to start-up ventures as well as “step-up” expansions of existing projects. The winners will be those that focus on real-life sustainability challenges.

To win, projects have to clearly address some of the biggest environmental challenges facing local urban communities. These include waste reduction and efficiency, environmental transport and travel, energy reduction, water efficiency and sustainable design.

E-idea is a unique alliance between the British Council and Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA). The competition will engage, empower and encourage the winners as they bring their ideas to fruition by providing the successful eco-entrepreneurs project funding as well as expert technical, business, marketing and networking support.

The regional competition was formally announced at the Sydney Opera House in January, 2011 by William Hague, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who "applauded all involved, particularly the British Council and LRQA for their involvement," and described E-idea as "addressing one of the central problems in world affairs and calls for people's ingenuity and entrepreneurship in doing so... I hope many, many people are going to take part."

E-idea Japan Launches on April 26th

In Japan, the E-idea competition officially launches on April 26th where eco-entrepreneurs will compete for six awards: three for start-up awards worth 400,000 yen each; and three in the step-up category worth 600,000 yen each. The Japanese competition closes on July 3rd.

LRQA have agreed to contribute £260,000 towards the implementation of the seven Asia Pacific programmes. In addition to financial support, LRQA and the British Council will equip E-idea winners with leadership, project management skills and knowledge. E-idea winners will also become part of the British Council and LRQA’s regional E-idea network, giving them access to national and international training and networking opportunities.

With a proven track record working with young people across countries and cultures, the British Council is ideally positioned to engage and empower young people committed to finding solutions to climate change and sustainability issues. The British Council already works directly with more than 120,000 young people in over 60 countries who are interested in tackling climate change.

LRQA, as part of the 250-year-old Lloyd’s Register Group, brings a well-established independent and authoritative professional global network as well as a high level of technical climate change expertise. The E-idea competition will give the young winning entrepreneurs the opportunity to work with LRQA’s global business network of 50,000 clients.

Huw Oliphant, British Council Project Manager for E-idea, said, “The British Council is delighted to be working with LRQA on this project. LRQA’s expertise and positive and enthusiastic commitment to this project make them an ideal partner for us. We are confident that this alliance will give real support to those young leaders who want to make a difference while also raising awareness of climate and sustainability issues on local, national and regional stages.”

Simon Batters, LRQA Project Director for E-idea Competition, said: “This is a major opportunity for LRQA, as a responsible company, to make a proactive, creative and dynamic contribution to climate change. We are contributing directly to society by supporting these young environmental leaders and are actually investing in the future by doing something tangible for the environment.”

E-idea in Japan, 2010
Quotes from the project winners of the E-idea pilot competition held in Japan in 2010

Mr. Tsuneyuki Fujioka from Funfam.
make people aware of an alternative to fossil-fuel derived products by promoting bamboo tableware as a stylish, sustainable and renewable resource:

"Getting the E-idea 1st prize was really meaningful in terms of developing my project. The support from such famous and trustworthy organisations as the British Council and LRQA was really influential for my project and the mentoring and support from both organisations as well as the public recognition I received helped to raise the project’s reputation and secure additional funding. Also, being part of E-idea has given me many opportunities for promoting my project though the media such as the Eco Solutions programme on CNN. E-idea has been a real gateway for me to become a social entrepreneur." Mr Fujioka.

Mr. Shuichi Ishibashi and Mr. Takayuki Miyauchi from Energy Literacy Platform
Energy Literacy Platform (ELP) is a tool that helps us learn how much electricity is used at home. Energy consumption from electronic appliances are detected by a module and quantitatively presented on the ELP website for users to monitor. The objective is to familiarize users with energy consumption and work towards overall energy reduction:

"Through the E-idea training, I learnt how globally social entrepreneurs tackle social issues. It was a good experience to discuss with, and get advice from, other participants within the British Council and LRQA network. This allowed me to develop my project further based on the participants' actual case studies. By networking with similar-minded people from other countries, I also have started to understand the needs of each country and the importance of working together." Mr Miyauchi.

About LRQA
LRQA is a member of the Lloyd's Register Group and is a leading independent provider of Business Assurance services including certification, validation, verification and training. The Group enhances the safety of life, property and the environment by helping our clients to ensure the quality construction and operation of critical infrastructure. It comprises charities and non-charitable entities, which support the charities in their main goal.
For more, please visit: www.lr.org

See also