Ecobuild and M&S reveal Big Innovation Pitch finalists 2017

The five finalists of this year’s Big Innovation Pitch have been revealed by Ecobuild and Marks & Spencer (M&S).

The latest retail engineering innovations, which range from heating and cooling systems to simulation software, will compete for the top spot at Ecobuild 2017, 7-9 March at ExCeL London.

The triumphant company will have the opportunity to become an M&S supplier, as well as enjoy significant visibility to the Ecobuild audiences as the finalists battle on the main Arena stage before the winner is selected.

The five finalists are:

• Arup and Airedale with the innovative Hybrid Coil Unit heating and cooling system that requires half the amount of infrastructure 

• Organic Response with its fully retrofittable ‘plug & play’ PIR lighting system that has taken inspiration from shoals of fish and requires no wiring or commissioning

• Protomax Plastics, which demonstrates real circular economy in action by taking everyday waste plastic and recycling it into hoardings and shopping fittings that are 100 per cent recyclable at the end of life

• CBES with its Mistral Air ‘dry system’ fridge unit that reduces CO2 gas emissions and ‘cold aisle’ syndrome

• IES with its simulation-based control software tool that could help to reduce the performance gap across a building portfolio

Imogen Cust, engineering R&D manager for Property, Development and Facilities Management at M&S, said: “As per previous years, we have continued to see a truly fantastic range of innovative solutions in this year’s Big Innovation Pitch. The first round of interviews showcased a broad range of products, all of which were of a high quality and focussed on different aspects of sustainability and efficiency.”

She added: “It was great to see UK inventors and manufactured products solving problems which have the potential to address the energy challenge across the wider construction industry, as well as help us meet our ambitious targets. We are really looking forward to the final day of judging at Ecobuild and to choosing our next new supplier of engineering innovation.”

Martin Hurn, brand director at Ecobuild, said: “Ecobuild 2017 is focusing on redefining what sustainability means to every stage of the supply chain so identifying the latest innovative solutions in a variation of areas is a key part of that. The level of entries and some of the real game-changing ideas we’ve seen during the judging process is real testament to the talent we have in the UK and how these can be used and adapted to meet wider industry issues.”

Ecobuild’s Big Innovation Pitch is in its third consecutive year and provides the industry with a platform to pitch innovative building products and engineering solutions. The initiative supports M&S’s Plan A sustainability strategy: to source responsibly, reduce waste and help communities, with the ultimate goal of becoming the world's most sustainable major retailer.

This year’s judging panel sees Imogen Cust joined on stage by industry heavyweights: Chris Vallis (director at AB Group), John Field (president of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers), Rick Holland (innovation lead for Infrastructure Systems at Innovate UK), and Julie Hirigoyen (ceo of UK Green Building Council). Chairing the session is TV broadcaster, Cathy Newman.

Previous years have seen innovative companies, such as Waterblade and Endotherm take the top spot. Since the Pitch, Endotherm has been trialled across 25 M&S stores, and Waterblade trials are about to start.

All 12 shortlisted companies and their innovations are featured online at the Ecobuild website and will appear at the show in a graphic showcase located at The Arena theatre for Ecobuild’s Conference.

For more information on finalists and the full shortlist, visit:

14 February 2017


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