Ecobuild, the leading international event for the construction and energy sectors, is again teaming up with Marks and Spencer to provide a platform for companies to pitch innovative building products and solutions in the hope of becoming a potential supplier to the retailer.
Ecobuild’s Big Innovation Pitch is open to any company operating in the UK sustainable built environment market and has been created to unearth innovation across the design, construction and energy sectors. The collaboration supports M&S in discovering the latest innovations that will help its properties perform better and be more sustainable. These goals form part of M&S’ Plan A sustainability strategy, under which M&S aims to source responsibly, reduce waste and help communities, with the ultimate goal of becoming the world's most sustainable major retailer.
Ecobuild’s Big Innovation Pitch presents two prime opportunities for entries to be seen at the event. The 15 shortlisted entries will be displayed at Ecobuild’s new central social hub the DISCOVER bar alongside the shortlists for all 13 categories of the Architect of the Year Awards. Then five selected finalists will make their final pitch to the judges, including Chris Marney, Head of Engineering and Energy at M&S, in a special conference session hosted by Rachel Riley from the Gadget Show and Countdown on day three of the conference, which has the theme of Next Generation.
The Big Innovation Pitch is a key initiative providing a platform for growth, helping businesses fast track their penetration into a wide range of markets. The hugely successful debut at Ecobuild 2015 saw the winning firm Endo Enterprises triumphing over 40 other products entered. A packed arena witnessed the company pitch the benefits of the energy-saving central heating additive it invented, developed and manufactured, to M&S. The retailer was so impressed by the product’s proven ability to save 15% on heating bills using a simple organic solution that it is now trialing it across 18 stores. The competition gives entrants an unrivalled opportunity to receive feedback on their product and the way in which they present it. It also helps M&S remain at the forefront of innovation in this space.
Ben Sallon, Managing Director, Endo Enterprises Ltd, commented that the exposure provided by the event has been very valuable to the firm, in addition to the ability to work with M&S: “winning the Big Innovation Pitch has certainly raised our profile and was a wholly positive experience.”
Munish Datta, Head of Plan A and FM Property at M&S, commented: “as part of our Plan A sustainability programme we are always looking for innovations that will improve efficiency in our energy consumption, water usage and waste management. Partnering with Ecobuild on the Big Innovation Pitch is a great way for the Plan A property team to see innovations and new supply chain partners which have the potential to make a real difference.”
Martin Hurn, Event Director, Ecobuild, commented: “The Big Innovation Pitch is a fantastic opportunity for forward-thinking bright SMEs offering solutions for increasing efficiency and sustainability to get in front of one of the UK’s biggest companies. Companies who want to have a chance take their businesses to the next level are encouraged to take advantage of this rare chance to become a sustainability star of the future at Ecobuild 2016.”