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Oil Drum wins Kent Innovation Challenge £20,000 top prize

Posted on 07 April 2008

Innovative hydrogen technology to revolutionise the road haulage community.

The search for Kent’s brightest entrepreneur is over. Canterbury based Oil Drum has beaten more than 70 hopefuls to claim the £20,000 cash prize in the 2008 Kent Innovation Challenge.

The prize was awarded to Oil Drum for its innovative on-demand hydrogen generator that works alongside an existing vehicle’s engine and fuel. Oil Drum’s technology introduces hydrogen into the combustion chamber of a vehicle, resulting in increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

The technology is particularly attractive as it is simply a bolt-on extra with no engine or fuel modifications required. No potentially explosive hydrogen storage devices are needed as the on-demand system only generates hydrogen when it is required by the vehicles engine.

Tim Bentley, chairman of the Kent Innovation Challenge judging panel said: "Oil Drum is a company operating in the right space at the right time. Oil Drum has already attracted a lot of interest from the commercial vehicle sector and this award is well deserved."

Darryl Watts, one of the founders and a director at Oil Drum said on receiving the award: "We are very excited by this award – it will make a terrific impact in making Oil Drum a commercial reality. So much work has gone into getting the On Demand Hydrogen Generator to where it is today. This award is a great acknowledgement for everyone who has worked on the project."

The award was made on Thursday 3 April at the Business Link Kent / Kent County Council Kent 2020 conference and exhibition Big Dinner by Graham Whitehead, one of BT’s top innovators. In addition to the £20,000 cash prize, the winners will also receive:

  • Free rent for one year at either the Sittingbourne Enterprise Hub at the Kent Science Park, the Canterbury Enterprise Hub at the University of Kent, or the Medway Enterprise Hub at the University of Greenwich
  • Free business and banking support from NatWest for 18 months
  • Up to 10 days free business mentoring from Business Link Kent
  • Legal support from Vertex Law to the value of £5,000
  • Filming and production of a corporate video to the value of £5,000

The FIVE finalists in the Kent Innovation Challenge in 2008 were:

  • Toximet
  • Oil Drum Limited
  • Silent Wind Turbines
  • Fillaball
  • Frontis

Dr John Dodd, director of the Sittingbourne Enterprise Hub and the organiser of the Kent Innovation Challenge judging panel comments: "Innovation is alive and well in Kent. Over the past three years we have had more than 200 hopefuls accept the Kent Innovation Challenge. All of this year’s finalists should be proud of their achievements and we wish them all the best in their endeavours."

The Kent Innovation Challenge is supported by South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Sittingbourne Enterprise Hub Ltd., Medway Enterprise Hub, Canterbury Enterprise Hub, Kent County Council, Kent Science Park, Business Link Kent, Vertex Law, NatWest, Coast Communications, Lavender Blue Media, the University of Greenwich, Kent on Sunday and the University of Kent.

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Oil Drum wins Kent Innovation Challenge

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