We look at seven innovative and scaling Irish businesses that took part in the Bord na Móna Accelerate Green accelerator that are leading the charge in the climate action fight.
Accelerate Green is the first Irish accelerator dedicated to scaling companies leading the response to climate action and sustainability by developing products and services based on green innovation.
Running from February to May 2022, Accelerate Green operated from from Boora, which represents the centre of Bord na Móna’s innovation heritage, demonstrating Bord na Móna’s commitment to the Midlands’ communities who are a key part of an ecosystem of projects and assets connected to eco-innovation, circular economy, and sustainability.
Several companies were selected to take part and are exhibiting today at Ireland’s Sustainable Future conference in Tullamore today (9 June 2022).
Here are some of the businesses that are leading the charge.
Dublin business Automsoft may hold the keys to trading in the future energy marketplace.
“The problem we are solving is enabling the generation of higher levels of power from existing renewable assets and the sale of that power for the highest price,” said Automsoft CEO Paraic O’Toole.
“Our core product is a software data platform that collects data automatically from disparate sources, from individual turbine and solar inverter control systems to external sources such as gas and carbon trading market data.
“We deliver dashboards to managers at different levels, from engineering to Head of Power Generation to enable fast and accurate decision making on pricing, bidding, power mix and maintenance scheduling.”
Cameramatics provides cutting-edge, award-winning SaaS technology for fleet and driver risk management.
The business helps customers reduce accidents, improve operational efficiencies and manage compliance.
The business was named the Enterprise Ireland High-Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Founder of the Year for 2021.
Scaling fast, CameraMatics has close to 1,000 customers including global leading fleet operators.
“We help companies who operate a mobile workforce and fleets of vehicles automate safety, performance and sustainability,” said CameraMatics CEO Mervyn O’Callaghan.
O’Callaghan said that the technology can play a part in helping firms succeed on their sustainability journey.
“We use AI camera technology, sensor technologies , telematics and vehicle engine data to provide real time accident prevention, empower drivers to improve driving standards and operational efficiencies and ultimately to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Irish company EpiSensor uses the internet of things to manage energy and add renewables to the grid.
“We focus on two IoT use cases that are essential to the transition to sustainable energy: demand response and energy management,” explained EpiSensor co-founder Brendan Carroll. “Demand Response is about supporting the electricity grid in times of need, so we can add more intermittent renewables like wind and solar into the system.
“We’re making the hardware and software that can do that job 10 times easier to use, which is essential as we roll the technology out to thousands more customer sites. Energy management is about highlighting where, when and how energy is consumed within an organisation, so efficiency can be improved with analysis and a management process.”
“We’re bringing a consumer-class ‘user experience’ to those systems, giving organisations of all sizes the tools they need to manage their energy consumption and the associated carbon footprint – so they can make informed decisions and take steps to reduce it – often by up to 40%, which is even more significant given the recent energy prices increases.
“Demand Response and Energy Management technologies can be used by grid operators all over the world and by every energy-consuming organisation – so the addressable market is very large. Very few sites and assets currently participate in demand response programs or have good energy management systems in place.
“Massive amounts of carbon and money – two very precious resources – are being consumed without any visibility or accountability, and that will change rapidly in the coming years to the point where organisations that don’t manage energy carefully will be the irresponsible exception. Eventually we’ll get to a point where there’s an abundance of clean energy available, we have a lot of work to do between now and then.”
Founded in Borrisoloeigh, Co Tipperary in 2016, Borrisoleigh Bottling Ltd wants to give eco-conscious consumers a better choice through its flagship brand Global Hydrate.
“We are seeking to provide the consumer with a more sustainable alternative to fossil based plastic PET in the bottled water market by providing excellent quality water in containers that are primarily plant based and fully recyclable,” said Dermot Honan, CEO of Borrisoleigh Bottling
“Our core product is bottled water, sourced from our on-site well that has been the winner of numerous Gold medal awards for excellence over the years and was Ireland’s first certified Natural Mineral Water source.
“We are now shipping this primarily in glass bottle and carton packaging and, over the past two years, have been proactively ramping down our PET usage.”
Go Eve is focused on commercialising a patent-pending ‘DockChain’ technology for charging EVs at scale. The DockChain innovation allows multiple parking spaces to be rapidly ‘electrified’ from one base power source with a daisy chain of inexpensive and simple charging points.
A joint UCD and Imperial College London start-up, the business was last year named UCD Start-up of the Year 2021.
Go Eve was founded by Hugh Sheehy, who completed the UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme, John Goodbody, Professor Robert Shorten, Dr Pietro Ferraro and Andrew Cullen.
“Globally, the shift to electric cars requires a huge number of additional EV chargers. Go Eve’s DockChain solution enables multiple parking spaces to be electrified from a single EV charger,” explained Sheehy.
Go Eve’s core product is the DockChain solution. “It’s a patent-pending modular and extensible daisychain solution for EV charging. It allows us to connect multiple parking spaces to a single EV charger and to charge multiple cars in turn from that single EV charger. DockChain coordinates a virtual queue and manages all the critical signalling between each car and the EV charger. This provides huge operational and cost benefits to fleet and parking operators, from cars to light public transport.”
Founded by Aisling Kirwan and Mark Kirwan, Positive Carbon was founded in 2020 and recently secured investment and support from German venture capital firm APX.
The Roscommon business provides fully automated food waste monitoring for hotels, restaurants and cities.
“One third of all food produced globally is wasted, contributing to 10% of all greenhouse gases. Reducing food waste is the single greatest action we can take to remove CO2 from the atmosphere,” explained Mark Kirwan.
“In Ireland alone, we waste over 1m tonnes of food each year. The food service sector is responsible for approximately 250,000 tonnes of this food waste resulting in 875,000 tonnes of CO2, and costing €300m to the industry per annum.”
“Positive Carbon provides commercial kitchens with food waste monitoring technology that tracks and logs all of a business’s food waste,” said Kirwan.
“This gives staff a full understanding of exactly the food they are throwing away. This enables them to make informed decisions around their purchasing, production and preparation to reduce their food waste, food bills and environmental impact.”
Real Leaf Farm delivers premium leafy greens 365 days a year.
“We grow using hydroponic technology with no soil, no pesticides, no carbon miles, 90% less water and Real Leaf Farm is repurposing Irish bog to help deliver on ESG and Sustainability Goals,” explained Karen Hennessy, co-founder of Real Leaf.
She explained that 30% of leafy greens are throw away, we reduce this, we deliver a 2-week shelf life with a great taste and quality product.
“We help retail and foodservice companies, by providing locally sourced, sustainably grown leafy greens, thereby ensuring food security, reducing food waste and carbon footprint while all the time delivering on taste and quality.
“Currently 19,000 tonnes of leafy greens are consumed in Ireland each year – over 80% of these are imported from countries such as Spain, Italy and even further afield such as Israel, adding significant carbon miles to each leafy green that is eaten in Ireland.”