The £6million boost will come from Sky Ocean Ventures — an investment fund run by broadcaster Sky — and the state-backed InnovateUK

Choose Water, one the companies that has been backed by the new fund (Credit Facebook, Choose Water)

Choose Water, one the companies that has been backed by the new fund (Credit: Facebook, Choose Water)

Businesses innovating within the green marketplace have received a funding boost through investment from Sky Ocean Ventures and the UK Government.

Ten projects have been awarded backing in order to “find fast and future-proof solutions to the ocean plastics crisis”.

The  investment from Sky Ocean Ventures, an impact investment fund set-up by the broadcaster Sky and the government-run InnovateUK, will provide a joint £6m ($7.2m) in backing

According to the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the country’s “green economy” is growing faster than other sectors, with it forecast to employ around two million by 2030.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “Trailblazing UK businesses are giving us all the choice to buy more sustainable clothing, packaging and cosmetics that are better for our environment.

“Consumers have shown they are keen for green and we’re committed to championing those innovative companies that lead the way in this, protecting the planet while at the same time opening up huge opportunities for the UK economy.”


Projects backed by the joint venture between Sky Ocean Ventures and the UK government

The projects given backing by the new fund include London-based Petit-Pli, which has created expandable clothes that grow with the wearer.

Founder and CEO of the company Ryan Mario Yasin said: “Petit Pli is over the moon to win the unique R&D funding call supported by Sky Ocean Ventures and InnovateUK.

“Gaining capital support — a share of £2m ($2.4m), from InnovateUK and Sky Ocean Ventures — will enable us to grow our R&D wing, allowing us to continue engineering designs which solve human needs — not just desires, by merging innovation with sustainability in the wearable sector.”

The fund will also invest £582,842 ($703,327) in Bath-based Naturbeads, which works with the city’s university developing biodegradable alternatives to plastic beads found in cosmetics such as exfoliators and toothpastes.

sky ocean ventures
Naturbeads CEO Giovanna Laudisio (Credit: Linkedin/Giovanna Laudisio)

Speaking to science news service Phys, Naturbeads CEO and co-founder Giovanna Laudisio said: “We are thrilled to start our project thanks to an Innovate UK grant and the support of an investor like Sky Ocean Ventures that shares our mission of reducing plastic pollution and understands the challenges of deep tech start-up like Naturbeads.”

Other companies to be funded include Edinburgh-based carbon neutral water bottle producer Choose Water and flexible cardboard packaging developers Flexi Hex from Cornwall .

Sky’s group chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: “These ten innovative investments can create meaningful change and help the world turn off the plastics tap.

“We look forward to supporting the businesses and their breakthrough ideas.

“Backing for Naturbeads follows the government’s success in banning microbeads from cosmetic products last year, and its plans to end the sale of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds from April 2020.

“Naturbeads joins a further nine projects receiving funding to develop innovations to challenge single-use plastics and encourage the modern consumer to reuse and recycle products.”