Irish clean-tech start-up creates the ‘EcoBike’

16 Dec 2010

GreenEgg Technologies is the first clean-tech start-up to emerge from the Irish clean-tech hub An tSlí Ghlas – The Green Way. GreenEgg is launching its initial innovation, the EcoBike, today.

Dr Shane Linnane, a DCU post-doctoral researcher, and Robert Merriman, a recent graduate from the DIT School for Spatial Planning, founded the company. It is a spin-out of the Energy and Design Lab at DCU, with a link to DIT.

Today, GreenEgg Technologies is launching the EcoBike at an event organised by Global Action Plan (GAP) Ireland, which is an international environmental group that promotes sustainable living.

The idea for the new company was spawned from an entrepreneurship programme run by DCU Invent for DCU postdoctoral researchers, in association with DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship. Since the programme ended, GreenEgg Technologies has been mentored directly by the Ryan Academy.

Green wave

According to co-founders Linnane and Merriman, GreenEgg’s primary focus will be the development of products and solutions for the clean–tech market. The company plans to operate in a number of clean-tech areas, primarily eco-educational tools; ‘smart-city’ product development; and in design, product development and sustainability services. It also plans to work with the needs of industry.

GreenEgg will invest in the research and development of new products, with the aim of future commercialisation through licensing of intellectual property or through direct/indirect manufacturing and distribution of goods via DCU and DIT.

So, how does the EcoBike work?

The bicycle is a pedal-powered electrical generator that aspires to demonstrate the concepts of energy efficiency and green living to children and adults in an interactive and fun way.

As users pedal, it will enable them to power electrical appliances with their legs. Using a touchscreen interface, users can choose between different appliances, exploring how different devices use electricity and examining the difference between sound and heat, for example.

The touchscreen computer displays the user-generated power level in real-time and records total power generated for a given user. Each rider’s performance data, as well as the combined energy produced on the day, is stored on-board or can be uploaded directly to your own website via Wi-Fi.

“We are delighted to be the first start-up to come out of the collaboration that makes the Green Way such an exciting development,” says Linnane, who is CEO of GreenEgg Technologies. Merriman is the firm’s business development manager.

Green tech – jobs potential

An tSlí Ghlas -The Green Way itself was launched in November 2010 at DCU. An alliance of businesses, academic institutions and local authorities, including Ballymun Regeneration, Dublin Airport Authority, DCU, DIT, Fingal County Council, Dublin City Council and North Dublin Chamber, it anticipates that 1,000 jobs can be created in Ireland’s green-tech sector over the next five years.

“GreenEgg is the first concrete example of the collaboration between partners at the ground level in the Green Way,” says Prof Brian MacCraith, president of DCU.

“With a pipeline of other interesting product concepts, we are expecting that this will be just the first successful product launch for this new company, and the first of many companies to come out of the Green Way in the coming years.”

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic