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Urban Ecological Systems - Planning position PDF Print E-mail

UES logoUrban Ecological Systems a company I helped raise several million dollars just before starting Natural Innovaftion .org have received planning permission for their state of the art integrated organic horticulture & aquaculture plant to be built near Sydney. This site is funded, but they are still looking for investment in the core company.

The last mile - bridging the distribution gap PDF Print E-mail

One of the biggest challenges of getting technology into the hands of the people who need it is the distribution. It would be naive to think that all is needed is the right "product". Marketing to the bottom of the pyramid is hard - and despite the book I have yet to find anyone making a "Fortune at the Base of the Pyramid". I do believe however that in order to scale, we need business models that make technical solutions affordable to villages, and that allow a supply chain that can operate without continual donations.

This last quarter, I've spent most of the time in India meeting with Social Ventures (NGO's and companies) working to bring technology to rural poor. I talked with seven groups in different states and with different approaches. Most expressed an interest in Sunvention's SunPulse Water and in New World Machine's solar cooling.

It was particularly good to speak with NGO's working effectively like a business, but motivated by impact rather than profit, and I look forward to an effective network that can ease the transition from lab to field.

Lumeter Networks - pre paid electricity platform PDF Print E-mail

Lumeter logoSeveral renewable energy companies approached Natural Innovation over the last few years looking for a solution to the challenges of pre-payment in rural energy, especially in mini-grids. The idea germinated for a while within Natural Innovation but has now been spun off as a seperate social venture so that it could raise the capital needed to succeed. Lumeter Networks has now developed a range of meters for both stand-alone and mini-grid systems; across energy technologies such as solar and wind; and is deploying through renewable energy partners across the developing world.

Mitra Ardron is CEO of Lumeter, so Natural Innovation is on indefinate hold until someone else takes it on.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 08:00
New Project - Humanitarian Licenses PDF Print E-mail

I've been working on an idea for a simple licensing agreement that for-profit developers of technology can use to allow their inventions to be used for humanitarian purposes. It is intended for use when Open-Source is not appropriate because of the need to protect the investors interests, but where a separate developing country market could be addressed by a non-profit.

I've had assistance from Inder Comar a San Francisco based IP attorney in producing a draft and discussions with some other pro-bono attorneys and I hope that we can produce something that is, to patents, what Creative Commons is to copyright, i.e. an easy to use template that encourages material to be more freely available.

Sunvention - investment sourced PDF Print E-mail

Sunvention greenhouse and sunpulse waterI spent the latter part of 2010 in southern Germany with Sunvention. In early January, Sunvention, was able to come to agreement with a prominent Swiss Foundation to become a majority owner of Sunvention.

The Foundation's main mission is to bring technologies to poor villages in developing countries, and this alignment with Sunvention's core purpose will allow Sunvention to focus on products with the highest humanitarian impact.

Sunvention plans to complete development of some key products and bring them to market in 2011. These products include: SunPulse Water, a solar thermal pump; SunPulse Electric - an off-grid power system; and the SunRay - a heat collection systems for greenhouses;

Sunvention's team has come back together, and production has commenced at their Indonesian partner - ATMI. Distribution will begin initially in India and Indonesia.

Sunvention are still very interested in an investor for the SunPulse Water which has the potential to be commercially viable and have a significant impact.

Their website should be up soon;

Please contact me if you are interested in investing.


Sunvention in the running for Buckminster Fuller Challenge PDF Print E-mail

UPDATED: Sunvention's Solar Power Villages proposal has made it to the semi-finalists.


I'm proud that Sunvention has made it into the list of contenders for this year's Buckminster Fuller Challenge. This challenge, based on the concepts of Bucky Fuller, is looking for out-of-the box and practical solutions to today's practical problems.

Some extracts and images from a much longer entry (that I co-authored) have been posted by the Buckminster Fuller Institute online on

It would of course be great to get comments on the site.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 April 2011 15:31

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