10 December 2014

(From l to r) Ed Craig, Head of Enterprise and Innovation from ECCI, and Elle Adams, Operational Assistant, and Galen Fulford, Managing Director, of Biomatrix Water Solutions with their VIBES Micro Business Award

This year’s VIBES Awards saw a record number of applicants apply across all categories including Management, Changing Behaviour, Energy, Transport, Waste and Resources, Environmental and Clean Technology, Hydro Nation, Circular Economy and Micro Business. An impressive 35 companies went on to be shortlisted and received site visits from the VIBES Judges.

The Micro Business Award is an additional award for the best entry to any category.  It is open businesses with less than 10 employees.

Sponsored By Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI)

ECCI is a hub for knowledge, innovation and skills required to create a low carbon economy. Located in Edinburgh and building upon the best ideas from around the world, ECCI provides the place and space for low carbon leaders and networks from business, finance and the public sector to work together to deliver a low carbon future. ECCI support businesses to develop low carbon products and services and partner with organisations like NHS, Transport Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, 2020 Climate Group and RBS to shape and implement all kinds of low carbon projects. Since December 2010 ECCI have had around 3000 visitors and supported approximately 100 businesses and networks to create new low carbon projects, products and services, and attract investment into Scotland.

Ed Craig, Head of Enterprise and Innovation at ECCI, who presented the award said: “We are delighted to be involved with the VIBES Awards again this year and to sponsor the Micro Business Award to encourage innovation in response to low carbon market demands and the challenge of lowering emissions. The awards illustrate that businesses of all sizes are clearly rising to the challenge of finding innovative solutions, products and processes that will have real economic impact and benefits in Scotland, and beyond, while at the same time lowering carbon usage.

Winner of the Micro Business Award

The winner of this year’s Micro Business Award was Biomatrix Water Solutions Ltd.

Biomatrix Water Solutions Ltd is an ecological engineering and design firm. Their product provides a durable floating riparian edge solution, which can be retrofitted to hard-edge and heavily modified waterways. With their product they aim to establish ecological balance, restore water quality and increase amenity value of the area. Previous projects undertaken by the company have seen up to an 86% reduction in coliforms, 63% reduction in Biological Oxygen Demands, 50% reduction in Chemical Oxygen Demands and a 45% and 62% reduction in Ammonia and Phosphates respectively.

On winning the award, Galen Fulford, Managing Director of Biomatrix Water, said: “The team at Biomatrix Water are excited and honoured by our win at the VIBES Awards. As a Scottish company exporting water technology and expertise internationally to the USA, China, Brazil, the Philippines and beyond, we are delighted that the VIBES Awards recognises the importance of addressing water challenges at home as well as on a global scale. Closer to home in Scotland, we have enjoyed working with Scottish Water on de-centralised low carbon ecological water treatment solutions, and with Scottish Canals on integrated storm water and flood alleviation solutions.

We look forward to supporting the Hydro Nation agenda over the coming months, and we thank SEPA, Scottish Water, HIE, SDI and the VIBES Awards sponsors and organisers for an outstanding event this year.

The Micro Business Shortlist

Biomatrix Water Solutions Ltd were up against a number of excellent companies that were shortlisted in this category, they included:

  • Ecofitter
  • Kirsty Maguire Architects
  • CodBod Technologies
  • Wastewater Wizard
  • Yooz
  • Soilutions Ltd

The other finalists in this category were:

CodBod Technologies

CodBod Technologies are a low-cost cloud-based service that improves the efficiency of environmental management. The technology they provide can reduce the time devoted to environmental monitoring and reporting by 30%. They offer customers a return on investment of less than 6 months and are currently piloting new technology with 6 companies.


Ecofitter provides architectural advice and installs a range of eco products in buildings. The company are currently at an advanced stage in constructing a pilot straw bale house which aims to have a zero carbon footprint. The straw bale house is ground breaking in Scotland and has a calculated SAP Energy rating of 83B, the average straw bale build will store 11 tonnes of CO2 in its fabric.

 The VIBES Judges commentated on how well all of the shortlisted businesses have done in this year’s awards process and stressed how difficult it was to choose between them. We would like to congratulate all of the shortlisted companies on their achievements and hope that you will apply for VIBES in 2014.

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vibes at sepa.org.uk