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The Fuel Change Challenge National Showcase took place yesterday (Wed 3 March). The event unveiled 20 low carbon concepts, selected from 38 original submissions, which will now be taken forward for further development.

Funded by the Scottish Funding Council and Skills Development Scotland, the Fuel Challenge was set up to provide a unique platform for the next generation to create a low carbon future.

The apprentices presented their concepts to a panel of experts, having earlier received guidance and support from industry mentors. The concepts were developed in response to six challenges, including; how to recycle decommissioned aircraft; how to create an electric bus network in a medium-sized town; and how to create virtual replicas of physical devices.

Some projects were highlighted by the judges as being worthy of special mention. Amongst these was the manufacture of feature clocks from aircraft fuselages, where it was revealed that the team had already made its first sale. The judges were equally impressed by the concept of “Green Fort William”, and the idea of seaweed farms to absorb CO2 and produce harvestable products.

The judges stressed that each of the 20 showcased ideas were commissionable and praised the “vision, energy and innovation” of all the teams.

David Reid, Programme Director at Fuel Change, said:

“Fuel Change has proven that it’s time for my generation to embrace the energy and inventiveness of the next generation in tackling climate change. This platform will lead to jobs and skills for the future, created by those who deliver them.”

Karen Watt, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“I’m delighted that we have been able to joint-fund this initiative along with our partners, Skills Development Scotland. This is an imaginative and well-designed initiative that meets an important national objective for climate change. The National Showcase was an amazing event and the culmination of a lot of hard work from the apprentices and their mentors.”

The keynote speaker at the event was Sacha Dench, an Australian biologist, conservationist, UN Ambassador and adventurer who undertook a 7,000 kilometre migration survey on a paramotor. The event was hosted by BBC presenter, Amy Irons.