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SolarisKit secures £250k for Africa trial

ECCI EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator start-up SolarisKit has been awarded £250k Innovate UK funding to begin trials of their unique flat-packable solar thermal collector in Rwanda.

CEO and founder Dr Faisal Ghani impressed the selection panel with SolarisKit’s disruptive, low carbon technology - a flat-packable, solar collector providing clean energy in the form of hot water. As well as tackling climate change head on, the technology is empowering some of the world’s poorest people by providing access to low-cost, clean heat.

Assembled in 30 minutes, the SolarisKit solar collector is small, lightweight and can be transported by bicycle or motorcycle – presenting a potential business opportunity for local entrepreneurs to start their own clean energy business with just a bicycle and trailer.

By focusing on the development of low-cost, high-value solar technology, the company’s goal is to lower global carbon emissions while helping to improve the lives of millions of people in the developing world, particularly in sub Saharan Africa, as well as parts of Asia and Latin America.

The Heriot-Watt University spin-out will use the funding - awarded through Innovate UK's Energy Catalyst - to develop their unique technology, carry out certification and conduct pilot trials in Rwanda.

CEO and founder Dr Faisal Ghani said:

“Winning this grant from Innovate UK is a big break for SolarisKit. We now have the essential funding to further develop our solar collector and carry out product trials in Rwanda."

"Our goal is to demonstrate the impact of our solar collector in lowering energy costs and carbon emissions for both domestic and commercial applications."

"Key to this project is our partnership with Challenges Worldwide who we were connected with through the ECCI. Challenges Worldwide will play a key role helping us to co-ordinate local resources in Rwanda and establishing our route to market.”

The Climate-KIC Accelerator is ECCI’s three-stage programme for low carbon entrepreneurs and start-ups in the UK - getting entrepreneurs and start-ups investment-ready by offering the knowledge, resources, tools and coaching you needed to grow into a great business.

Currently on Stage 2 of ECCI's Accelerator programme, Faisal recently won top prize in the Converge Awards - Scotland’s annual celebration of academic innovation and entrepreneurship and embarked on trade missions to Kenya and San Fransisco.

Could you benefit from ECCI's start-up programmes?

Since launching in 2017 ECCI's Accelerator businesses have secured more than £1.75m worth of investments and won more than 50 awards.